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Spread the love! 10 scrumptious Marmite recipes, from roast potatoes to spaghetti

Last year, this newspaper said that “Marmite is having a massive foodie moment”, after noticing that the divisive yeast extract was increasingly featuring as an ingredient, rather than simply being smeared on toast.

Yes, Marmite has come into its own. As a sandwich filling, it remains polarising, but as an ingredient it is much more subtle, lending a warm, umami bite to all manner of dishes – as demonstrated by the 10 magnificent recipes below.

Marmite and thyme roast potatoes

We will start with my all-time favourite Marmite recipe, as discovered on a Guardian readers’ recipe swap six years ago: Marmite and thyme roast potatoes. The trick here is to melt a little Marmite into the oil before the spuds go in; not only does this help them to crisp up, but it also adds exactly the right amount of richness.

Cheesy Marmite straws

Alvin Caudwell’s Marmite cheese straws
Alvin Caudwell’s Marmite cheese straws. Photograph: Patricia Niven/The Observer

A couple of years ago, Alvin Caudwell had the genius idea of spreading marmite into puff pastry making cheese straws. These are huge, posh Twiglets and deserve to be served at every post-lockdown event.

Spaghetti with Marmite

I distinctly remember watching Nigella Lawson make her spaghetti with Marmite on television and being affronted by the simplicity of it – it is little more than “boil some spaghetti, put some Marmite in it, then eat it” – but I would like to apologise on behalf of my younger self. Listen, if something as brazenly simplistic as cacio e pepe can be a thing, then spaghetti with marmite can, too.

Whipped Marmite butter

Yotam Ottolenghi’s bacon and chestnut scones with Marmite butter
Yotam Ottolenghi’s bacon and chestnut scones with Marmite butter. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

If you were in doubt that Marmite deserves to be considered an artisan foodstuff, then remember that Yotam Ottolenghi cooks with it. True, his bacon and chestnut scones would probably be lovely on their own, but his whipped Marmite butter – just Marmite and butter chucked in a blender – really makes them sing.

Fried Marmite sandwiches

Since we appear to be going down this route anyway, how about putting some Marmite in a cheese sandwich and frying it? This is what the author Alexander McCall Smith does – and he eats it for breakfast to boot.

Marmite and chilli veggie burger

Veggie burger
A veggie burger with kick. 

Even though it can taste like it came from a rendering plant, Marmite is vegan, which makes it ideal for livening up vegetarian dishes. The Veg Space has a Marmite and chilli veggie burger recipe – made with butter beans, mushrooms, rice and nut butter – in which Marmite is wonderfully complementary. Without it, the chilli risks being harsh and unpleasant, but the Marmite adds a base layer of warmth.

Marmite chickpeas

Pointed Kitchen’s Marmite chickpeas are up there with Nigella in terms of simplicity, although they are more of a snack. Bake some tinned chickpeas, rub them in Marmite, bake them again and eat them. They also have the benefit of being zero points on Weight Watchers, if that is important to you.

Mushroom and mascarpone tortellini

Cookpad’s user-generated dishes have a tendency to be quite out there – and so it is with this mushroom and mascarpone tortellini, which, you guessed it, contains a generous amount of Marmite. The Marmite sceptics among you may wonder whether this is a weird attempt to make “Russian roulette” tortellini a thing, but it gives the dish a nice kick (or “bite”, as the recipe calls it).

Marmite smoothies

Banana and peanut butter smoothie with Marmite
Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Photograph: Liudmyla Chuhunova/Alamy

Now, before you overreact, know that this is a recipe from the official Marmite website, OK? These people understand the properties of Marmite better than anyone. If you want a fight, take it up with them. Anyway, here goes: Marmite smoothies. Marmite, peanut butter and banana smoothies. I know, right? If you make this, please let me know, because I don’t have the guts.

Homemade Marmite

Finally, the ultimate Marmite recipe: a recipe for Marmite. The restaurant Alchemilla in Nottingham takes pride in making its own version, which it shared with the website Great British Chefs. The good news is that it is easy, requiring only sourdough bread, water, yeast and sugar. The bad news is that it is time-consuming, clocking in at two and a half days. Still, what else are you doing with your free time?

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