Recipe: Make Amanda’s mopani worm pasta

Are you a fan of local delicacy mashonzha or amasonja? Make chef Amanda Manyatshe’s mopani worm pasta

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Mashonzha or mopani worms are undeniably a local culinary treasure for many South Africans.

Mashonzha or amasonja are a delicacy throughout Southern Africa in countries like Mzansi, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Cape Town-based chef Amanda Manyatshe shares her take on the delicacy with a Mashonzha pasta.

ALSO READ: Cape chef shares Mzansi food at the pan-African table


2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting

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30g mashonzha, dried, uncooked and finely ground 

Pinch of salt 

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon oil


  1. On a clean, flat surface, sieve your flour into a mound and then create a well in the flour.
  2. Inside the well, place your ground mashonzha, pinch of salt, eggs and oil.
  3. Gently mix with a fork and slowly start to incorporate the flour by pulling it in towards the centre from the sides. The walls may collapse, that is fine. You can also use your hands to start combining the wet and dry ingredients at this point.
  4. The dough will be very sticky, dust the surface to help you reduce the stickiness while kneading the dough. The dough will start to come together as you knead it for 10 minutes. If the dough is a little dry, add a little water. If it is still sticky, dust the surface with more flour. The dough will first feel tight but as you knead it, it will become softer and elastic. After 10 minutes it will be smooth and have a gloss to it.
  5. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.
  6. To shape your pasta, divide the dough ball into four equal pieces. Cover the other pieces with a damp cloth so that they do not dry out while you roll out one piece. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness and then cut into strips with a sharp knife.
  7. These noodles can be cooked immediately in a pot of salted boiling water for two minutes or allowed to hang and dry for later use. 
  8. Serve with your chosen sauce and topping and enjoy! 

Chef tips: 

  • Fresh pasta cooks faster to the al dente stage so be careful not to overcook it.
  • Grind your mashonzha as finely as you can for a finer finish.

ALSO READ: Mzansi’s mopani queen has given the worms a complete facelift

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