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Gemelli with Anchovies, Tomatoes and Mascarpone

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

Quick, simple and – much as I hate the word – tasty. I know no self-respecting Italian would let tomato seeds sully a sauce, but I do so very happily, and it’s the gloop inside the halved cherry tomatoes that adds cohesion to the spicy, tangy creaminess.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Quick, simple and – much as I hate the word – tasty. I know no self-respecting Italian would let tomato seeds sully a sauce, but I do so very happily, and it’s the gloop inside the halved cherry tomatoes that adds cohesion to the spicy, tangy creaminess.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Gemelli
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Metric Cups
  • 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)
  • 6 ounces 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 red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes (halved across the equator)
  • ¼ cup 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 italian parsley (finely chopped leaves, plus more to serve)

Method

  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.
  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.

Tell us what you think

What 15 Others have said

  • I cook this every few weeks. It is DELICIOUS however I have made a few changes to suit store cupboard ingredients. Instead of fresh tomatoes, a tin of chopped tomatoes and I omit the Parmesan because it is rich enough without it.

    Posted by PANDASNACKS on 11th December 2019
  • SO simple, SO tasty

    Posted by AnnBritt on 22nd August 2019
  • I agree with other comments - a fab very easy dish, the sauce is superb, a brilliant easy supper dish.

    Posted by jensmith on 17th August 2019
  • Wonderful flavor. I substituted Greek yoghurt for the marscapone and it was excellent. Just added the grated cheese to the yoghurt and mixed it in at the end.

    Posted by louisvillechef on 17th August 2019
  • Absolutely delicious AND so easy to make. Made this from what was in my cupboards & fridge (substituted marscapone with cream cheese). Certainly adding this to my favourites list to make again.

    Posted by Lilybird on 16th August 2019
  • This is amazing! Anyone who looks at it and thinks "eww anchovies" should just try it - they melt and disappear into the recipe entirely, just becoming a mouthwatering piquant glaze that coats every single iota of the pasta. It's unbelievably delicious!

    Posted by Eadred on 24th January 2019
  • An absolute taste sensation - this may well be my new favourite thing to eat, and so quick and easy! Thank you!

    Posted by Breezy63 on 19th October 2018
  • I made this tonight to help ease me through a head cold. The flavor was amazing and the kick of heat from the chili was just what I needed. The vitamins from the tomatoes won't hurt either. Thanks, Nigella, for another wonderful series and recipe.

    Posted by Tallenarts on 17th October 2018
  • Quick easy and most important "DELICIOUS" This one goes on the favourite list

    Posted by ColinH on 12th October 2018
  • This is so good. We make it lots !!

    Posted by Pinecones on 28th September 2018
  • Utterly scrumptious. We got spoons out to finish the sauce off in the bowls, after we'd eaten all the pasta

    Posted by Mayso on 21st July 2018
  • Love this! Followed the recipe to the “T”. I will make this over and over again. Delicious!!

    Posted by Marg501 on 29th May 2018
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