I understand that this recipe may be a little controversial. For every Marmite lover out there in the world, there is also a hater. This makes my job of convincing you to make this dish almost twice as hard as it usually would be. However, for the sake of this amazing dish and for all Marmite lovers out there, I’m willing to give it a try.
Now before you haters click off this page, hear me out. This is not like Marmite as you may have experienced it before. Most peoples first (and sometimes last) experience of Marmite tends to be on toast or in a sandwich. For some this is the beginning of their beautiful love affair with this spread, but for others it is quite the opposite.
One thing I’ve learnt when it comes to any food is that most people will try it once and if they dislike it then they’ll never give it another chance. What we’re doing here is wrong people! Over time and especially as we get older, our taste buds change and adapt to new foods and flavours. The olives you may have hated when you tried them at a tender age of three, will taste very different to you 20 years later. What I’m trying to say is we need to give foods we once tried and disliked a second chance. So let’s start with Marmite shall we?
This idea of a Marmite pasta bake came around a few months back when I kept seeing recipes for Marmite pasta everywhere… seriously, it was weird. What I didn’t see anywhere though was a pasta bake recipe, so as a true Marmite fan would do, I decided to make one. The taste of the Marmite in this dish is not as intense as we usually know it to be. The creme fraiche and the cheddar cheese make it rich and creamy and a lot more mild in taste, which is why I urge you Marmite haters to give it a go. Who knows, you might even turn into a lover…
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley
320g grated mature cheddar
3 tablespoons of Marmite
4 tablespoons of creme fraiche
40g unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of plain flour
400g penne pasta
Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat oven to gas mark 5/190C or 170C for fan assisted ovens.
- Cook pasta in a large pan with boiling salted water and then drain and set aside.
- Next, drizzle a little olive oil in a small pan and fry onion until soft. Add garlic and fry for a further minute and then remove from heat.
- In a separate pan, melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted add the flour and stir constantly for a minute or so until it has formed into a paste. Gradually add in the milk and keep stirring until there are no lumps and it begins to thicken into a sauce.
- At this point add in the Marmite and creme fraiche and mix well.
- Remove from the heat and add in around three quarters of the grated cheese, all your chopped parsley and the cooked onion and garlic. Mix well and then add in the pasta and season with salt and fresh black pepper. Be careful on how much salt you add though as Marmite is very salty!
- Make sure all the pasta is coated with the thick sauce and then pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 15/20 minutes uncovered or until crispy on top and then remove from oven.
- Let it sit for a few minutes and then drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve!