Creamy Tomato and Harissa Pasta

This tasty pasta number is the perfect balance of flavours. It’s creamy and bright, with just a hint of spice. It’s also pretty flexible. Swap the sundried tomatoes for jarred roasted red peppers and the mascarpone for ricotta and you’d have yourself a very tasty creamy red pepper and harissa pasta. To be honest, any kind of antipasto is fair game here!

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x


  • 500 g dried pasta of choice (I used bucatini)
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 200 g oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained (drained weight)
  • 50 g parmigiano reggiano or grana padano
  • 25 g fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsps rose harissa paste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 120 ml cold water


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Season generously with salt (the water should be sea-level salty). Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, place the mascarpone, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, fresh basil, rose harissa paste, garlic and cold water in a food processor. Season lightly with salt and pepper and blitz until a chunky sauce forms.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving two ladlefuls of the pasta cooking water.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pasta with a ladleful of pasta water. Toss until the sauce nicely coats the pasta, adding more pasta water as necessary.
  5. Divide between bowls, serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram, tagging @zenaskitchen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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Erica Alford
1 year ago

This is the best pasta 🍝 dish I’ve ever had. It was so delicious 😋.

1 year ago

We made this today! Delicious! Didn’t have mascarpone, but subbed in some whipped cottage cheese and it was still delicious!

1 year ago

I make this recipe regularly, we both love how flavourful it is, and I love how easy it is to make too!
A firm favourite, thank you Zena.

1 year ago

My favorite pasta ever and so so easy to make! Thank you!

jason booth
1 year ago

Anybody know if the sauce is good to freeze?

Morgan F
6 months ago

Soooo tasty. I added a little rose powder to the dish and made my own harissa (I can’t find it in stores where I live) so the dish did end up being a little high maintenance to make…but I don’t care, it’s so good! I will be making again!!

Naomi Santos
3 months ago

Hi! Can I use Harissa sauce instead of paste? Or are those the same? Thanks 🙂