Spaghetti with Spicy Harissa Sauce Recipe | Abel & Cole

Spaghetti with Spicy Harissa Sauce

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Spaghetti with Spicy Harissa Sauce

This spag bol has a spicy twist. It's infused with flavours from the Mahgreb – Belazu's smoky rose harissa, sharp and tangy preserved lemons, aromatic ras al hanut and a pinch of earthy cumin. Bubbled with minced beef and tinned tomatoes, these combine to make a rich, warm and flavoursome bolognese sauce that's delicious stirred into freshly cooked pasta.


  • 1 onion
  • 50g black olives, pitted
  • ¼ preserved lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 tsp ras al hanut
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp rose harissa paste
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g spaghetti
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 40 mins

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1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Roughly chop the black olives. Scoop the soft flesh out of the preserved lemon and discard it, then dice the rind. Peel and grate or crush the garlic.
2. Warm a medium-sized pan over a medium heat, then add a splash of olive oil and the beef mince. Fry for 5 mins, stirring every so often to break up any lumps, till the mince is browned all over.
3. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry, stirring often, for 5 mins till the onion starts to look glossy. Add the rose harissa paste and stir well to mix. Stir in the olives, preserved lemon, garlic, ras al hanut and cumin with a pinch of chilli flakes (the harissa paste is spicy, so just use a small pinch. You can add more at the end). Cook and stir for 1-2 mins till the pan smells aromatic.
4. Tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes, then half-fill the tin with water (around 200ml) and add that. Stir to mix, then pop on a lid and simmer for 30 mins. Stir every so often till the sauce has thickened a little, adding a splash more water if necessary.
5. Finely chop a handful of flat leaf parsley leaves.
6. When the mince is 10 mins away from being ready, cook the spaghetti. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. When it's boiling, add the spaghetti and simmer for 8-10 mins till it’s tender but not too soft. It should still have a little bite.
7. Scoop a mug or ladleful of water out of the pasta pan, then drain the spaghetti. Taste the bolognese sauce and add a more salt, pepper, harissa, chilli flakes or a pinch of sugar, if you think it needs it. Add the spaghetti and toss to lightly coat. If it seems dry, trickle in a little of the reserved pasta water till you get the consistency you want.
8. Love Your Leftovers
The spag bol will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Toss the pasta and sauce together, divide between tubs, seal and chill. Reheat in the microwave or on the hob with an extra splash of water till piping hot all the way through.
9. Divide the spag bol between warm plates and scatter over the chopped parsley. Serve straight away.
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