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5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Harissa Pasta

Learn how to make healthy Moroccan Harissa Pasta. Our easy vegetarian recipe is spicy and creamy, featuring roast pumpkin and sweet peppers.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: moroccan, tunisian
Keyword: harissa pasta, harissa recipes, spicy pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 427kcal


Harissa Paste

  • 15 Dried chiles de árbol
  • 2 Dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 Dried ancho chile
  • 1.25 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1.75 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Caraway seeds
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil

Harissa Pasta

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 cup Butternut Squash peeled and diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Small red bell pepper sliced
  • 1/4 cup Dry Sherry
  • 1.5 tbsp Homemade harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
  • 280 g Pasta like spaghetti or penne


Harissa Paste

  • Place arbol, guajillo, and ancho chiles in a large heatproof measuring glass. Pour boiling water over to submerge, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until chiles are very pliable and cool enough to handle, 15–20 minutes. Drain then remove stems and seeds and discard.
  • Toast cumin and coriander in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, tossing constantly, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a food processor, add garlic, and pulse until spices are broken up and garlic forms a paste. Add chiles and pulse until chiles form a coarse paste. Add lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika, and salt and process until mostly smooth but mixture still has a little texture. With the motor running, stream in ½ cup oil. Process until oil is incorporated.

Harissa Pasta

  • Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  • Peel and remove seeds from pumpkin and cut 1 cup into a chunky dice. Toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Spread out the pumpkin chunks on a baking sheet ensuring the pieces do not touch. This ensures they will caramelize and get crispy.
  • Bake squash until they are easily pierced by a fork or knife, 30-40 minutes depending on size. After 20 minutes, flip pumpkin chunks so they bake evenly on both sides.
  • Remove roasted squash from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and minced garlic. Fry for 1 minute on medium heat until browned. Add sliced bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  • Add dry sherry, harissa paste, tomato paste, whipping cream, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat once the sauce is thickened to your liking. If you prefer a thinner sauce add more sherry or vegetable stock.
  • Boil pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Strain pasta and add to harissa sauce.
  • Toss pasta in spicy harissa sauce then transfer to bowls. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve hot.


Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.5g | Protein: 12.4g | Fat: 18.7g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 5.6g | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 3mg