Harissa Spaghetti

This is a simple, tasty, and often-used recipe in our house hold. Most of the things are on-hand at all times, it takes just minutes to prepare, minimal mess (1 pot, chopping board, + bowl) and tastes good the next day.


  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled, nasty bits chopped off
  • a big pinch of salt (like 1/8 t for some people who ask for very specific sizes – hi Sharna!)
  • 2T – 4T olive oil (we prefer a little smaller, but vary on your own oil tastes; ours is better of course)
  • 2 T harissa paste
  • 8 oz (1/2#) whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever variant) – the Whole Foods 365 brand is what we usually use for this, but anything works, unless, of course, it isn’t whole wheat pasta 🙂
  • 1 small bunch of kale, washed and de-veined (it is usually muddy)
  • handful of oil-cured black olives (2T?) – we vary by how salty the olives are, sometimes just a tablespoon, sometimes 2, but we like our food less salty (we are pirate-y enough)
  • 1/2 C pine nuts
  • zest of 1 lemon OR 1-2t preserved lemon
  • Medium sized pot, like 3 quart
  1. Toast the pine nuts in the pot until lightly golden, then put in one of the bowls or plates you will use to serve.
  2. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil.
  3. While the pot is heating, chop the garlic fine. Add the salt and crush the salt in with the garlic. Repeat the chop/crush routine until it is a paste. It is at your mercy. Show none.
  4. Mix the paste, harissa and olive oil to the paste in a small bowl.
  5. Cook the pasta in the water almost to the end of what it asks in the instructions (8-10 min). You can add a pinch of salt to the water to bring out the pasta flavor.
  6. Add the kale to the water for 6 seconds, drain.
  7. Heat half o the harissa / garlic mixture in the pot. I like to let it sizzle a little bit, but you can just heat it if you want a more garlic flavor.
  8. Add the pasta, kale, olives and lemon zest. Stir to heat everything up, then plate. Add the rest of the harissa/garlic on the top, sprinkled with pine nuts.

Serves 4 small eaters, or 2 for dinner + 1 lunch.


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