Fusilli with Pink Sauce

There are several ways to make a simple marinara sauce into a “pink” sauce. Heavy cream will do the trick, as will ricotta cheese, but our favorite ingredient for turning a red sauce pink is mascarpone cheese. The texture is smooth and silky and it creates just the right consistency for coating the pasta.

Fusilli with Pink Sauce

Fusilli with Pink Sauce

5 from 3 votes
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A rich, creamy sauce made with tomatoes, shallots, mascarpone cheese and fresh basil served with a spiral pasta (in this case fusilli) makes a nice change from a classic red sauce.


  • 10 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup chiffonade of fresh basil, about 2 cups loosely packed leaves
  • Parmesan cheese for grating


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until fragrant and just beginning to turn golden. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and crushed red pepper. Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the mascarpone and stir until smooth and well blended. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Cook and drain the pasta according to the package directions. Add the basil to the sauce, then combine the mixture with the pasta. Plate individual servings and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Tips for Making This Recipe

About the pasta:

Any type of spiral pasta will work for this dish, but we chose fusilli col buco (aka fusilli lunghi), a cut that looks like thick spaghetti twisted into a loose spring. It’s a fun change from the shorter cuts like rotini and makes a rather pretty presentation.
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