Subtly sweet and super creamy, mascarpone makes for an indulgent pasta dish. Add in the vodka and balsamic vinegar, and you'll be in Italian heaven.


Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

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4 to 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. 

  • In a large deep skillet, heat the oil, three turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir the onion and garlic until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add about 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring often, until absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chile paste, dried oregano, and paprika and stir until blended, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook until absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, then the tomatoes. Bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to low. Let the sauce simmer while you cook the pasta.

  • Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta. 

  • Stir the mascarpone into the sauce. Add the pasta and toss. Add some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta is dry. Toss the pasta until coated well, about 1 minute. Top the pasta with Pecorino and basil.


To up the protein in this meal, add pulled rotisserie chicken or simmer some medium shrimp in the sauce.