Gemelli with anchovies, tomatoes and mascarpone
- 175g/6oz gemelli pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 150g/5½oz cherry tomatoes, halved across the equator
- 4 tbsp dry white vermouth
- 2 tbsp mascarpone
- 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, plus extra to serve
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, but start checking a good 2 minutes before you’re told it should be ready.
Meanwhile, put the oil and anchovies into a heavy-based wok, and cook, stirring over a medium heat for about 1 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 add the tomatoes, stirring gently for 2 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
Pour in the vermouth, let it bubble up, then stir and push the tomatoes about in the pan for 2 minutes until they have broken down a little in the thickened, reduced sauce. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the mascarpone and, when it’s all melted, stir in the Parmesan and parsley.
Before you drain the pasta, lower in a cup to remove some of the cooking water. 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.
Gemelli – which means twins in Italian – are a robust short pasta shape, formed out of what looks like two sturdy strings twisted together but are in fact made out of a single rope of pasta, doubled back on itself like a helicoidal twist. If you can’t find them – though they’re very much worth seeking out – then substitute casarecce or, easier still, fusilli.