Gemelli with Anchovies, Tomatoes and Mascarpone




  • 175 grams gemelli pasta
  • salt (for pasta water)
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon regular olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 150 grams cherry tomatoes (halved across the equator)
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons dry white vermouth
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon parmesan cheese (finely grated, plus more to serve)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons fresh flatleaf parsley (finely chopped leaves, plus more to serve)
  1. Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. (Although you don’t need to start cooking your sauce till the pasta’s in, I’d get everything ready for it while you wait.) Once it’s come to the boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Check the pasta packet for advised cooking times, but do start tasting a good 2 minutes before you’re told it should be ready.
  2. Once the pasta is in, put the oil and finely chopped anchovies into a heavy-based wok, or other capacious pan, and cook, stirring over a medium heat for about a minute, or until the anchovies have almost dissolved into the oil. Stir in the garlic and chilli flakes, then turn the heat up a little and tumble in the tomatoes, stirring them gently for about 2 minutes, or until they are beginning to soften.
  3. Pour in the vermouth, let it bubble up, then stir and push the tomatoes about in the pan for around another 2 minutes until they have broken down a little in the thickened, reduced, now orange-tinted liquid. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the mascarpone and, when it’s all melted into the sauce, duly stir in the Parmesan and parsley.
  4. Before you drain the pasta, lower in a cup to remove some of the cooking water. Or use a mesh ladle or pasta claw to transfer the gemelli directly. Add a tablespoon or so of the cooking water to the pasta sauce; this will help the sauce coat the pasta. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss well to mix, adding more of the pasta cooking water if needed. Sprinkle with a little parsley and take the Parmesan to the table to serve.


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