This spicy roasted vegetable and harissa pasta makes such an easy meal. Harissa sauce stirred into pasta with roasted vegetables. It's perfect for a lazy midweek meal!
My love for Harissa recipes
You don't often see pasta recipes with harissa. However, if you follow this blog you'll know how much I love all things harissa. Just this year I've made harissa chicken salad and harissa carrot salad. Last year I made a harissa chicken traybake and not long before that there was a harissa lamb salad.
Put simply, harissa is one of my favourite spice pastes and I quite often stir a spoonful of harissa into couscous or rice to give it some flavour so why not pasta? It's also quite normal to just stir a spoonful of pesto into a bowl of pasta so why not harissa?
When I first began experimenting with this recipe I made a really simple version with just harissa and pasta. It was one of those days when I didn't feel like cooking but just wanted to make something quick, easy and tasty. I was surprised by how much I liked it.
In fact, I liked it enough to remake it and I've remade it a lot since. I often stick to that simple basic recipe but it only takes a little extra effort to make it even better. Roasting some peppers and onions definitely makes it even more tasty. Of course, the extra vegetables make it healthier too.
Ingredients for harissa pasta
To make this simple spicy pasta recipe you'll need:
- Pasta - Any pasta shape will work. I think it's great with spaghetti or penne which is another family favourite.
- Red pepper - Or yellow or orange
- Red onion - Browns onions are also fine. Red ones just look more colourful!
- Pine nuts - These add a lovely crunch.
- Harissa paste - I usually use rose harissa but any harissa paste brand that you like works.
What to top this harissa pasta with?
I like to toast a few pine nuts to top the pasta with. That's all. You don't need to do anything else. Although if that is too simple for you, I'm not stopping you from making your own harissa. Whether you do or not, this pasta recipe is really easy and perfect for a lazy week night. It's hot and spicy from the harissa so if you love hot pasta sauces, I know you'll love this.
You can of course top it with some cheese if that's how you like to eat pasta. I do normally but I love the pine nuts on this and that means it's also a great vegan pasta recipe.
The inspiration for this harissa spaghetti
I was partly inspired to make this dish after making an olive and dukkah pasta. That recipe was probably the dish that got me thinking about mixing up Middle Eastern and North African flavours with pasta and that first led me to using harissa on the pasta.
How to adapt this recipe
There are lots of ways to adapt this easy harissa pasta recipe. Why not vary the roasted vegetables? Aubergine (eggplant) or courgette (zucchini) would both go very well. Sweetcorn is also lovely with harissa and a couple of tablespoons of frozen sweetcorn could be added to the pasta just before it finishes cooking.
I usually top this pasta with pine nuts but sunflower seeds also go well. Although I haven't tried it, I think pistachios or hazelnuts would also be a good alternative.
This recipe is vegan but if you don't follow a vegan diet then there's no reason not to add some parmesan as you would with many other pasta recipes.
If you're in a hurry and don't have time to roast the vegetables, you can stir fry them instead. It'll still be delicious.
Can you eat this recipe cold?
If you have any leftovers then this also makes a great pasta salad recipe. However, if I know I might have leftovers I prefer to make it with penne rather than spaghetti. Spaghetti is not great in a pasta salad but penne and harissa pasta salad works brilliantly!
Of course, other pasta shapes such as farfalle or orzo would also work. It's just that penne is the one that I usually have in the cupboards!
Roasted Vegetable and Harissa Pasta
- 200 g pasta
- 1 red pepper
- 1 red onion
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts
- 2 tablespoon harissa paste
- Put the onions and peppers on a roasting tray and drizzle on a little olive oil. Roast in the oven at 200c for 20 minutes.
- Put the pasta on to boil. At the same time put the pine nuts in another pan and heat them gently so they brown slightly.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pan with a little of the water. Add the roasted vegetables and harissa and heat through.
- Serve the pasta with the pine nuts sprinkled on top.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
Do check out some of my other vegetarian pasta recipes!
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this harissa pasta or any of my other recipes.