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Harissa Pasta with Peppers and Feta Cheese

Harissa pasta, the spicy North African pepper paste joins roasted peppers and feta cheese in this simple and warming midweek pasta dinner.

Using roasted or chargrilled antipasti peppers means that this hearty vegetarian pasta dish cooks in well under 20 minutes.

Harissa pasta with with feta cheese and roasted peppers in a black bowl.

Spicy Rose Harissa Pappardelle

I love quick and easy pasta recipes and my site is littered with them.

Everything from mushroom pappardelle and steak pasta with a Diane sauce to prawn and pea pasta gets a look in.

This rose harissa pasta definitely has a bit of a “fusion food” vibe because it pairs Tunisian harissa paste with Greek feta cheese and very Italian antipasti peppers and dried pasta.

They are flavours that work harmoniously together in a dish that cooks in the time that it take to cook some dried pasta.

Using the starchy pasta cooking liquid results in a wonderfully silky sauce or dressing loaded with flavour.

Close up harissa pasta with with feta cheese and roasted peppers in a black bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much salt should I put in the pasta water?

Common parlance says that your water should be as salty as seawater, which let’s face it is deeply unhelpful!

I work on 1 tablespoon (and a pinch for luck) for every 4 litres (quart) of water.

Do I have to use store-bought peppers in oil?

No not at all, you can make your own. I use store-bought because this is a quick and easy midweek dinner and I don’t use them often.

If you are the preserving type, these roasted peppers preserved in oil would be the perfect thing to use.

What is the difference between Rose Harissa and Harissa?

Rose harissa as the name suggests contains rose petals. As a result, it has a lovely floral tone that sits along with spicy pepper and caraway flavours.

I use the Belazu brand.

What pasta should I use?

I like to use wide pappardelle pasta for this recipe because it holds the sauce so well.

If you are using fresh pasta you will need to change the running order of the recipe and get the sauce cooked first.

Other pasta shapes that work well in this recipe include tagliatelle, orecchiette and even farfalle.

Overhead harissa pasta with with feta cheese and roasted peppers in a black bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Like many of my pasta recipes, this harissa pasta is coated in a sauce defined by oil.

As a result, it leaves a lovely pool of tasty goodness in the bottom of the bowl and some nice bread is the perfect thing to mop it up.

You could of course go for some garlic bread, but that is a little too crispy for my liking.

I would rather have some focaccia or ciabatta bread to mop up the bottom of the bowl because think that the are better at getting that bowl clean.

Harissa pappardelle pasta with with roasted peppers, feta cheese and snipped chives.
Yield: 2 Servings

Harissa Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Rose harissa pasta is a gloriously simple cross over dish combining the complex North African chilli paste with antipasti peppers and feta cheese.

Ingredients

  • 200g (7oz) Dried Pasta, I use pappardelle
  • 175g (~1 Cup) Roasted Antipasti Peppers in Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Rose Harissa
  • 3 Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 (~35g) Shallot
  • ½ Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 75g (~¾ Cup) Feta Cheese
  • 20g (~½ Cup) Chives
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil (I use 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 litres of water).
  2. Drain the antipasti peppers, reserving two tablespoons of the oil and cut them into strip 3-5mm thick.
  3. Drain the sundried tomatoes and cut them into strips 2-3mm thick.
  4. Cut the shallots in half lengthways, peel them and then slice them into half-moon shapes 1-2mm thick.
  5. Peel the garlic cloves and slice them as finely as you can.
  6. Crumble the feta cheese into a bowl.
  7. Cut the chives into lengths 2-3mm long, add them to the feta cheese and mix.
  8. Place the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente, this is typically 30 seconds to 1 minute less than the packet instructions.
  9. Add the reserved oil from the peppers into a frying pan over a medium heat.
  10. When it is hot add the shallots and allow them to soften for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
  11. Add the harissa paste and brown sugar and stir for a minute.
  12. Throw in the garlic, peppers and sundried tomatoes, reduce the heat to low and stir to combine.
  13. Have a taste and add salt as required, then allow the sauce to cook on low until the pasta finishes cooking.
  14. Drain the pasta reserving around 100ml (⅓-½) of the cooking water.
  15. Add the pasta to the frying pan with the peppers and mix well adding as much cooking water as required to form a nice coating on the pasta.
  16. Toss through most of the feta cheese and chive mix reserving a little to sprinkle over as a garnish.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 556Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1252mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 22g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

George

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Hi Brian, nice recipe! however, you neglect to mention when the brown sugar goes in.

Brian Jones

Thursday 17th of February 2022

Cheers George, I have no idea how I missed that, it goes in with the harissa paste after the shallots have softened. I have updated the recipe.

Thanks for letting me know :)

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