Skip to main content
elly curshen.jpg

Elly Curshen, better known as Elly Pear (after her Bristol café, The Pear Cafe 2006-2018) is passionate about reducing food waste, encouraging people to cook from scratch and try new things. Her bright, inventive, meat free cooking is influenced by world cuisine but always with an eye on the local greengrocers. She has written three books (including a Sunday Times Bestseller and an Amazon #1 bestseller) and is a columnist for Waitrose Weekend paper.


200g Gigli pasta

2 tsp Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated

2 tbsp Ve-du-ya vegan ‘nduja

300g baby plum tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp mascarpone

Half a lemon

4 tbsp grated pecorino cheese

Sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

To serve: Small handful basil leaves


  1. Cook the Gigli according to packet instructions.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat, then add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add the ve-du-ya and toss well with the softened onions, then add the quartered tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes while the pasta cooks.

  4. Add the cooked pasta to the pan of tomatoes and ve-du-ya with a slotted spoon, stir through the mascarpone, most of the grated pecorino, a squeeze of lemon and a small ladleful of pasta water. Toss well to make sure everything is well coated, check seasoning and serve with the remaining cheese and plenty of fresh basil leaves.