Vegemite Garlic Spaghetti
Vegemite, or marmite if you are British, is one of those love it or hate it ingredients. Vegemite is popular in just a few countries, and there is probably a good reason for it. But I love vegemite, and seeing the vegemite spaghetti recipe really excited me.
Apparently Anna del Conte, an Italian, invented this recipe while Nigella Lawson popularized it. Anna’s recipe suggests adding a squirt of ketchup while Nigella’s is the stripped down 3 ingredient version using just spaghetti, butter and vegemite.
I tried three versions of the recipe. Firstly the good news, especially if you are a vegemite hater. The dish has a very mild smell and taste of vegemite. Chances are that if you didn’t know the dish was made with vegemite, you probably wouldn’t guess it. Think fish sauce and belachan. They smell and taste uninviting (or revolting) in raw undiluted form but it does miracles when added to food. Vegemite almost has the same effect here. Which brings me to the bad news.
I first tried Nigella’s stripped down version. I found it mild and bland, the spaghetti that is. I added more vegemite which improved it slightly but still didn’t excite me, still talking about spaghetti. I then tried the second version, with chili garlic sauce. It was fantastic but the vegemite flavor completely disappeared. It was like eating spaghetti and chili garlic sauce. Unimpressed but still excited I tried my own garlic version. That was an improvement. Garlic complemented vegemite rather than overpowering it.
With just three ingredients and incredibly quick and easy to prepare, I think I will revisit this recipe, and perhaps modify it more.
I have submitted this to Presto Pasta Nights. The Presto Pasta Night is coming to an end.
Adopted from Nigella
375 grams dried spaghetti
3-4 cloves garlic, or more, minced
50 grams unsalted butter
1 -2 teaspoons vegemite, or more
- Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add garlic. Cook until just before the garlic starts to turn brown. Remove from heat. Add vegemite and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water. Mix thoroughly to dissolve
- Add the pasta to the vegemite mixture and mix to incorporate. Add some of the pasta water if necessary
- If you still find the dish mild and bland, you can add more vegemite or add salt and pepper. If you want to add more vegemite, dissolve it in a small amount of pasta water and then add to the pasta.