Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Penne with Marmite, Tomatoes & Ricotta

In this recipe, Italy and Albion meet for a quite unusual pasta sauce.    

Many people know Marmite, but not everyone is fond of it. The firm that produces this pungent beer yeast extract acknowledges it even in their slogan: Marmite, you either love it or hate it!    

Marmite doesn’t convince us when spread on some bread – but our love for cooking made us willing to experiment with it in the kitchen in other recipes.    

And today we bring you this unusual blend of Mediterranean flavours and aromatic herbs. Ricotta, thyme, tomatoes and… Marmite!

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins

  • Penne: 180 g
  • Ricotta: 50 g
  • Cherry tomatoes: about 6 or 8
  • Thyme, fresh: 1 sprig
  • Marmite: 1 tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste


Rinse the tomatoes and cut them in half.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the tomatoes and the thyme sprigs and cook them for at least 10 minutes on medium heat.

Boil the penne in a pot of unsalted water.

Tip: Make sure you don’t add any salt to the water you use to cook the penne, or at least only a very small amount: the Marmite alone will make this dish quite salty.

Before draining the penne, keep aside about 80 ml of their cooking water; you can use an espresso cup to measure it. Melt the teaspoon of Marmite in the hot cooking water you set aside.

Drain the penne about 2 minutes before the end of the normal cooking time, so that they are still al dente. Add the penne to the tomatoes in the pan and cook them on medium heat for about 5 minutes with ricotta; whilst stir-frying the penne, pour in the cup of Marmite and water to tie the flavours together.

When the penne and the sauce are thoroughly mixed together, the pasta is ready to be served. You can garnish it with some thyme leaves and drizzle olive oil on top – as well as some Marmite, if you really love it.

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