Nigella Lawson Pasta Addition Had People Recoiling in Horror

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There are few foods that have earned the unbridled love of a giant swath of people yet scare off everyone else.

I hear people not from the States think that Twinkies and Marshmallow Fluff are disturbing and beyond reason (they are delicious — thank you and good day). Blood sausage is delicious, and spoiler alert: made of blood. This delicacy pops up in many countries from as far ranging as Brazil to Chile to Mongolia to Hong Kong to Iceland. Yet, people either hate it or love it; or, they’re simply horrified that someone would even think to make it at all.

But honestly, sausage might make more sense to add to a pasta dish than what Nigella Lawson is telling everyone they should put in their pasta.

On October 18, the Today show (the one in Australia) invited celebrity chef Nigella Lawson on to explain herself to hosts David Campbell and Sonia Kruger. After she talked a little about the dish, they tried the batch she brought in for them to try.

Nigella mentioned she found this recipe “in Anna Del Conte’s memoirs,” and proceeded to explain the dish is just butter, pasta and a spoon of Marmite. (I think Kruger’s face might say it all, but I won’t knock it too much because I haven’t tried it.)

Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Marmite

Wait, What Is Marmite?

For those who are unfamiliar, Marmite is one of several yeast extract spreads sold in England, Australia, and elsewhere. (Yeast extract spread would probably be called something like “Fungus Butter” in the U.S. if it were released today.) It’s a byproduct of beer manufacturing and then goes through all sorts of processes to turn into the deep black-brown substance people have all over their faces in their advertising.

The Reaction to Nigella’s Interesting Pasta Addition

Thanks to inventor Dr. Cyril P Callister at the Fred Walker Cheese Company (which we now know as Kraft Foods) “Pure Vegetable Extract” exists, resting on a thin line between love and hate. Nigella’s fans seem to love it, with one, Tsarina, saying “OMG! I love this, so does my husband and daughter. I could happily eat a whole pan load, with extra Marmite. I’m not a great cook, but this is so easy peasy anyone really can do it. It’s what we’re having tonight,” finishing off with a “Mmmm — Marmite.” (In case you were unsure.)

Lawson herself said, “I know the combination of pasta and Marmite sounds odd to the point of unfeasibility — but Marmite offers saltiness and savouriness the way a stock cube might.”

When Lawson posted the same recipe on Twitter … feedback on the concept of the pasta with such a polarizing ingredient did not taste as sweet (or … well, taste as umami).

To each their own, right?