Sunday, 21 July 2013

Penne with Fresh Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce

The middle child has been strange about creamy, buttery sauces for a while. I guess he takes after me, who would heave at the sight of a croissant when I was young. How times have changed!

This is one of those "Tuesday after swimming" dishes - the tomato sauce can be prepared the night before, then reheated and the mascarpone stirred in just before serving. I was a bit worried about the creaminess, but it turned out that my sociable little children were invited back to a friend's house for pizza, so I ended up eating this dish myself, and it was really very tasty and easy. It used up the remnants of a tub of mascarpone from a disastrous cheesecake, but good old Philadelphia or any full fat cream cheese would do as a substitute.


  • 4-5 large, ripe tomatoes (they must be ripe!)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 heaped tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 springs of fresh basil, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • Olive oil for frying
  • A touch of salt and ground black pepper
  • 150-200g penne pasta
Serves 2


  • Using a knife, score a large cross into the bottom of each tomato. Place in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes
  • Remove the tomatoes and peel the skin off. Roughly chop and de-seed the tomatoes, and put aside
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan to a moderate heat. Add the crushed garlic so that it is just trembling bubbles in the oil, and stir for 1 minute to flavour the oil
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, chopped basil, salt and black pepper, and stir well to combine. Bring back to bubbling, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and leave to cook for 20 minutes. Add small quantities (20ml increments) of water to the pan if you feel that the sauce is getting too thick
  • When the tomatoes have softened after 20 minutes, mash them to break them up. Continue to heat for another 10 minutes
  • Cook the penne according to the instructions on the packet, and drain when cooked to al dente
  • Add the mascarpone to the sauce and stir to combine. Add the penne to the sauce and mix well
  • Serve immediately in warmed bowls, garnished with fresh basil

Penne with Fresh Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce

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