Home cooking brought to you by
Home cooking brought to you by

My not-so-secret, absolutely amazing, ultimate Marmite pasta sauce recipe

Love it? Hate it? Either way, I haven't found anyone who dislikes this sauce!

1y ago

I have always loved pasta. When I was young my mum even got called into school to be told that they were going to impose limits on me having it for lunch because I had it too much... So when I was in my teenage years, and I was left alone during the summer holidays whilst my mum went to work, I had to figure out some way of making lunch without making a mess.

After Heinz oxtail soup got boring and I got sick of sandwiches, I found a recipe that my mum and I hadn't made since I was nine or ten. This was Marmite pasta sauce. You may be thinking why the heck would I want Marmite with pasta – but until you try it you won't understand why! It ends up giving the pasta quite a beefy, earthy taste which is great when you're just making pasta on its own (like I was when I was a teenager). It isn't just Marmite though, hence why so many people like it – as the original strong salty flavour of the Marmite is toned down by the other ingredients.

Originally this was a recipe by Nigella Lawson that would serve 5 people. I don't know how similar this recipe is to the original, as since then I have adapted it to my own taste. This sauce is also a fantastic base to work from if you fancy adding it to other things like cream sauces – although a bit of experimentation is advised!

So, here is my recipe for the simply amazing Marmite pasta sauce.

These measurements will make enough for roughly 1-2 people (depending on how much sauce you use between you) so just multiply the measurements by how many people you are serving and you should have a little bit left over.


Roughly 2 heaped tsp Marmite (or Bovril if you fancy something different)

Roughly 4 tbsp pasta water

20g butter

Dried basil or Italian seasoning (optional)


First of all I would recommend making this whilst the pasta is cooking so that the pasta water is hot and fresh from the pan. Don't worry if not. Instead just use tap water.

1. In a glass or microwaveable jug, spoon in the Marmite or Bovril. If you don't like it as salty, don't add as much Marmite as I have stated – or if you want it saltier, add more Marmite! Next, add the butter and finally, add the pasta water. Adding more or less water will give the sauce the desired constancy. If you like quite a thick sauce I would suggest only adding 2 tbsp per person as the sauce is quite runny. You can always add more water closer to the end if you think it needs thinning out.

2. Place in a microwave and heat on full power for 30 seconds. Once this is done, take out and stir (this would be the perfect time to add more water if you think it is too thick), then place back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Now check to see that the butter has melted (if not, repeat the microwaving process until it's melted, it should only need another 30 seconds). Leave in the microwave until the pasta has finished cooking.

Alternatively you could simmer the ingredients in a small pan on a hob, continuously stirring until all the ingredients have melted and combined (although I have never tried this, so some experimentation may be needed). This may be a better method if you are cooking for lots of people.

3. After the pasta has finished cooking, add a pinch of dried basil to the sauce and stir well. Serve by pouring over the pasta, either in one large bowl or individual bowls. If you want to make things even more interesting, grind some black pepper over the top and maybe grate some fresh Parmesan cheese – then a garnish of fresh basil leaves on top could just set it off!

There you go!

So that's it, my not-so-secret, absolutely amazing, ultimate Marmite pasta sauce! Let me know in the comments what your experience with this recipe was, whether you liked it and what you did differently, if you tried to experiment!

Let me know your thoughts on this recipe in the comments!

Join In

Comments (6)