Recipe: Cook Harissa Spaghetti from Drew Barrymore’s new cookbook Rebel Homemaker

Drew Barrymore

Actress Drew Barrymore is joining the ranks of lifestyle authors, with her debut lifestyle guide and cookbook Rebel Homemaker. 

In Rebel Homemaker, Barrymore takes you inside her kitchen and her life, as she shares stories, recipes and personal photos. Alongside thirty-six recipes, she will also be sharing personal essays and stories about topics such as female friendship, single parenting, and how to slow down and share the joy of family and food. 

To celebrate the book’s release, we’re pleased to bring you this taster of what to expect, with an extract of the delicious sounding Drew’s Harissa Spaghetti. So dig out those saucepans and raid the pantry and get cooking!

Drew’s Harissa Spaghetti

I guess if someone was to ask me if I had a signature dish, I’d say this one! Although I’ll note that this is a question I never thought I would receive, because until the last few years, my answer would’ve been “call for takeout.” But this is a dish I can confidently whip up anytime, anywhere. I love that it all comes from pantry staples, like canned tomatoes and dried oregano. Or you could make yourself look like a fancy pants and buy fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and simmer that garlic like a real chef! But the key, no matter, is the harissa. It’s a Tunisian spice that you squeeze out of a tube, and the result is this smoky and delicious flavor I fell in love with.

Serves 2

1 (8-ounce) package chickpea spaghetti (we recommend Banza)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon onion powder (optional)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon dried oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon dried parsley (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste
2 to 3 tablespoons harissa paste, plus additional to taste
½ cup chopped basil, plus additional for serving

Cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the spaghetti and stir to ensure that the pasta does not clump together. Boil until just al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the noodles. Rinse the chickpea noodles under cold water until completely cool. Set aside.

Make the sauce.

Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion powder, if using. Saute, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not let brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and dried herbs, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and harissa paste and cook for 3 minutes more. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper, and additional harissa paste, if desired. (The pasta sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator before reheating in a skillet.)


Add the pasta to the sauce, along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pasta water to thin, if necessary. The sauce should be thick and concentrated, but just loose enough to coat the noodles easily. Cook for 1 minute more, tossing to combine. Add the chopped basil, gently fold to combine, and divide among serving plates. Serve immediately, topping each portion with a drizzle of olive oil and additional basil.

Extracted from Rebel Homemaker by Drew Barrymore and Pilar Valdes (Penguin Random House, $49.99). Photography by Graydon Herriott.

Grab yourself a copy of the book from Booktopia HERE.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.