Tri-Color Fusilli Pasta with Mascarpone Tomato Sauce
I just discovered over the weekend the new KitchenAid fusilli pasta maker attachment at Williams Sonoma in the Valley Fair Mall, in San Jose, CA. It looks amazing; I had no clue that fusilli could be made at home. Well, I didn't buy the attachment, but it gave me the idea of making the corkscrew-shaped pasta dish. I used store-bought tri-color fusilli. I find the color to be very playful. The red color is made from beet juice and the green one from spinach juice instead of using regular water in the dough.
Pasta to me is a natural comfort food. To give this dish a heartier feel, I paired the pasta with a creamy mascarpone homemade tomato sauce. The tomatoes are Brandywines from our garden. They are big, bright red and -most important- so sweet. The girls helped me make the sauce; I think it's always more satisfying for them to eat food they helped prepare.
Yields: 6 servings1 16-ounce package fusilli pasta, store-bought
4 cups Brandywine tomatoes, or any other Heirloom or grape wine tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, cut in wedges
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
3 sprigs sweet basil
For the tomato sauce: Slice the Brandy Wine tomatoes in half. Grease a baking sheet with oil. Place the tomatoes skin side down. Add the onion wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Add the whole sprigs of basil and sherry vinegar. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of walnut oil. Bake for 45 minutes at 375°F. Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes. Try to remove and discard all the skin of the tomatoes. In a food processor, blend all the basil and tomatoes into a smooth sauce.
For the fusilli: Bring about 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta, bring back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the pasta is cooked all the way through evenly. Cook the pasta for about 12 minutes total. Salt the water half way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the pasta and the pasta will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom. It may take longer than the cooking time that is written on the box. When the pasta is cooked (cooked inside and out but still in shape and firm), Reserve about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta (do NOT rinse). In a large pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of walnut oil. Add the minced garlic. Cook until it's slightly golden. Add the sliced shallot. Cook until it's golden. Add the fusilli pasta and butter. Add about 1/2 the amount of the golden garlic. Toss the pasta using tongs for about 3-4 minutes. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add a little pasta water. Transfer to a large serving platter.
For the mascarpone sauce: In the same large pan, add mascarpone and the tomato sauce. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with fleur de sel and pepper.
Assembly time: Serve the dish family-style. Use a large serving platter for the fusilli pasta; pour the mascarpone tomato sauce over the top. Garnish with more sweet basil or fresh cilantro.
I've used mascarpone cheese in a lot of desserts but it also brings a silkiness to savory sauces as well.
If you're a pasta lover, check out my other pasta dishes.Published By: on July 21, 2009.