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Recipe: Spaghetti Corkese (Spaghetti with Black Pudding & Tomato Sauce)


Spaghetti Corkese!

Spaghetti Cork-ese! Say it aloud in a terrible Italian accent. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

All jokes aside, a few years ago I was in my kitchen looking at a stash of black pudding that I had brought back from Ireland and thinking about how well the deep earthy flavour of the black pudding goes with fresh zingy tomatoes and I thought – OOOOOF – ding ding ding – that would be an ace pasta sauce.

Italians avert your eyes but everyone else keep reading, for this is delicious.

So, it is simple and takes less time than a proper bolognese, but you are rewarded with a rich depth of flavour that takes hours ordinarily. The richness of the black pudding adds instant ooomph, the chilli a little zing, and when you roast the sauce as I do here, it crumbles and each little chunk bathes in a tiny bath of tomato with a piquant tiny vinegar hit with a little sugar to tone it down a bit. When they caress the spaghetti it is a dreamy match.

Black pudding is something some people are afraid of. I was raised on it and love it, it is only blood folks, nothing to worry about. Full of iron and embracing of nose to tail eating, which is not only delicious but is a responsible way of eating.

Black pudding varies from country to country, I use the Irish one here. Two grace my kitchen counter. Rich deep artisanal black pudding from McCarthy’s of Kanturk when I can get my mucky paws on it. My local butcher and Budgen’s sell the lovely Clonakility Black Pudding which I used here. Made with beef blood instead of pigs blood it is also something that folks averse to pig for reasons of religion can eat. I, personally, do like a bit of pig.

So, here it is. Try it, even if you are afraid of it. I promise you will enjoy.

TIP: Leftover sauce makes a terrific toastie and is brilliant with eggs for breakfast.

Spaghetti Corkese

Recipe: Spaghetti Corkese

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 generously


280g Irish Black Pudding
2 x 400g tins good tomatoes
2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 mild red chilli, de seeded finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
sea salt
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 x 500g box best spaghetti – I highly recommend Pastificio dei Campi


Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
Start your sauce by sautéeing the shallot in a little light oil over a medium heat until transulcent but not brown, about five minutes.
Add the black pudding and sauté for a further couple of minutes.
Add the chilli and garlic for a minute or so, before adding the tomatoes sugar and vinegar.
Transfer to a roasting dish and roast for 45 minutes.
In the last ten minutes or so cook your spaghetti according to packet instructions, and to al dente.
Remove the sauce from the oven, season, and add the pasta to your sauce and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve immediately.



Filed under: Cooking


Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. This looks delicious! My dad would love this – I was raised on the stuff, not the biggest fan, but my childhood home had a big farmhouse kitchen in which everything from black pudding to thick strips of back bacon from our local butcher was cooked up by my dad at breakfast. It’s a B&B too so my parents would share their culinary delights with people from all round the world.
    Almost certain this dish would go down very well for dinner there!

  2. Ahh the old Spag bolg, Its one of those meals that i can just keep on eating. Partnered with black pudding is a stroke of genius. I will be giving this a go very soon.

  3. Looks awesome. I am leaving work right now to go buy black pudding and three bottles of red. It’s the only possible way to salvage a particularly crappy week.

    • Completely agree! And a nice spicy red will be lovely with this. I had had a particularly crap day when I made it and had lots of Bordeaux Superieur to wash it down!

  4. I love Clonakilty black pudding almost as much as I love Italian food so for me this is a match made in heaven! Completely agree with “one man and his hob” – stroke of genius Niamh!!

      • Yes, Irish white pudding is delish and I have some of the Clon one in the fridge. Tastes different to Hogs pudding which is more offal-y from memory. Give it a go! :)

  5. Black pudding can instantly make most savoury foods 100x better!!! We have great black pudding here in Lancashire (the home of black pudding?). Love the stuff and love pasta :)

  6. This is a confession: I have never eaten black pudding. I am Italian (living in London..) and of course I love pasta: black pudding and spaghetti? Well, since I trust you, I will give it a try…and let you know. Rita

  7. I bought some Bury black pudding from the famous Bury market today (my local!) so I could make this tomorrow night. Very much looking forward to it!

    • Restless Native says

      The home of the black pudding, I am doing missionary work in the South of England, luckily we can get Bury black pudding.

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  10. I made it and, while it tasted good, it didn’t turn out anything like I expected. It was a little too unctuous for me!

    I think I was expecting a tomatoey sauce with little nibby bits of black pudding whereas the black pudding completely dissolves into the tomatoes and gives a very dark appearance – it looked more like a game ragout to me.

    • Hi Kathy! I suspect that you didn’t use Irish black pudding? The English one is very different. Although game ragout sounds good to me too :) Thanks for coming back and letting me know.

      • From the selection of four black puddings in my local Superquinn, I used Clonakilty’s finest! Puzzled, as I followed the recipe to a T which is most unlike me.

        Like many people, until the recall on pork products in 2008, I always thought that black pudding was a pork product.

  11. I have just eaten a bowl of “spaghetti corkese” (first time I eat Black Pudding, as I wrote in my previous comment). I like how the flavours combine together creating an interesting new pasta sauce, but unfortunately, I am not a fan of the texture of Black Pudding……so this is not the right sauce for me. Regarding Italians and Black Pudding (comment posted by James B – Back to the Chopping Board), we used to have “sanguinaccio” (a sausage made with pig’s blood). It was used in cakes, but 20 years ago the sale of products with pig’s blood was prohibited. Since then we have used a chocolate sauce as a substitute, even if the flavour is somewhat different!!). Rita

    • Hi Rita, the texture of Irish black pudding is drier which is why I specify it here. Did you use that? They are so different. At least you tried and am sorry it wasn’t to your taste.

      • It was Scottish black pudding ( I did not find Irish black pudding….). Since the problem was the texture and not the flavour (I quite like the flavour!), I will try this recipe again with the right ingredient. Thanks. Rita

  12. This looks fabulous and am considering whether to try to sneak this into family pasta as there are some amongst us who would not knowingly eat the stuff. Am wondering whether you have ever tried this with deliciously smoky morcilla? Also wondered what your thoughts were about removing the skin from the pudding as some have quite a tough and chewy casing.

    • Hi Sue. So sorry I am only picking up on this now. It has been a pretty crazy year. So, morcilla is a totally different product and it depends on which you use. You should remove the casing (you don’t need to do this with the Irish one), and perhaps add some barley or similar. Worth a shot. Could have a lot of fun with it.

  13. What a great idea!

    It took me a couple years after moving to the UK to get used to the idea of eating black pudding. When I finally did try it, I loved it. This recipe looks delicious.

    In two weeks I finish a goal of eating and cooking nothing but Indian food. This will be one of the first recipes I make!

    Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Great blogl! My blog this week is about food routines/ruts and Spag Bol tends to feature in many people’s diets, so it’s nice to see a hearty spaghetti recipe that’s a little bit different :)

  16. What a fantastic idea. I can take it or leave it when it comes to black pudding. I rarely get that excited when I see it on a plate of cooked breakfast. But this did excite me; I can taste it already and will definitely be attempting it soon.

  17. Restless Native says

    Mmmmmm Black Pudding, great idea. I dare say I will go back to my roots for Bury black pudding.
    I would not eat it as a child, classically not even trying it.
    Amazing a Spanish Security guard, off a camp site cooked it for me. This was a thank you for stopping a fight. I was amazed; it tasted nothing like what I had in my head. I now love black pudding.
    Using it the way you have is a great idea.

  18. I was sold by the blog title, absolutely love black pudding and pasta, so it’s a great idea to combine both and why not? Can’t wait to try this out at home!

  19. Louise says

    This sounds fab.Have you tried haggis lasagne? It really works!

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  22. Alastair says

    In the nicest possible way this is like the tastiest tinned spag bol eve made. If harvey nicks did tinned spaghetti this would be it :)

  23. Thomas Instone says

    I made this tonight. Had a Clonakilty black pudding that needed using up, so searched for suitable recipes. This blog turned up in the results. Thank you! It was incredible!

  24. Made this tonight with skinny strips of chorizo added, an intense meaty experience! Love black pudding, something really homely/traditional and trashy/indulgent at the same time! Unusual and fantastic – thanks x

  25. Made this tonight and totally impressed. Big black pudding fan and lucky enough to finally find some in rural SW France to try this recipe I’ve been excited about making since Feb! Sublime and right up my street, despite using Englsh and not Irish pudding.

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  27. Roisin says

    Finally made this for dinner this eve (with McCarthy’s black pudding)….FAB!!!
    Hope you enjoyed Lisbon as much as I enjoyed your pics of the scrum my pastes de nata ;-)

  28. philippa lunn says

    I am going to make this for dinner tomorrow as i’ve got some black pudding to use up! I can’t wait to try it my husband on the other hand is not looking forward to it as he doesn’t like black pudding, but so what he’ll either eat it or starve ha ha!

  29. philippa lunn says

    He loved it! and so did I – blooming delicious!!! Ha and hubby called me “Nigel Slater making a simple supper with leftovers” so i’m taking it as a compliment ha ha

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  31. Esther says

    I have a chunk of Stornoway black pudding and was thinking of putting it into a tomato sauce. googled it 1st and came across your page. Away to make it now but using gnocchi instead of pasta I think.

  32. Esther says

    And the leftover sauce got revamped the next day, with extra tomatoes. And poached a couple of eggs in it, all day breakfast ;-)

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