Harissa-Spiced Pasta and Chicken with Green Beans

4-6 Servings

40 minutes

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The idea for this one-pot dinner came from macroona mbakbka, which sometimes is called the national dish of Libya. Pasta made its way into Libyan cooking as a result of Italian colonization during the early to mid-20th century, and for mbakbka, it’s paired with spices, tomato and chicken (sometimes other types of meat). For our version, we use harissa, a North African spice paste, as a simple way to incorporate both chili heat and a mixture of aromatic spices. We also add green beans to round out the dish. For mild palates or if the harissa you purchase is especially spicy, use the lesser amount; for bolder heat, use the larger quantity, and offer more at the table, too.




Don’t worry if the chicken isn’t completely cooked after the initial browning. Simmering with the pasta and beans will fully cook the pieces. Don’t forget to bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Adding boiling, rather than room-temperature, water to the pot shaves a few minutes off the cooking time.

40 minutes


  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1-2

    tablespoons harissa paste