Cheesy Pasta Recipe: Fusilli al Telefono

updated May 17, 2022
Fusilli al Telefono
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We love the looks of just about every recipe in Pasta Sfoglia (see our review here). But we decided to reprint one of the simplest, most elemental recipes in the book: Fusilli al Telefono.

Pasta cooked with a simple homemade sauce of tomatoes and basil, with an entire pound of fresh whole milk mozzarella folded in until it melts and runs off the pasta like gooey strings. Yum yum. We would like a plate of this right now please!

Fusilli al Telefono

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    good-quality fusilli

  • 2 tablespoons

    grapeseed oil

  • 1 clove

    garlic, thinly sliced

  • 2

    (28-ounce) cans peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes

  • 15

    large fresh basil leaves, julienned

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound

    whole milk mozzarella di bufala, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.

  2. Add the grapeseed oil and garlic to a 10-inch skillet. Turn on the heat to high. When the edges of the garlic have turned golden, about 1 minute, use your hands to break up and squeeze the tomatoes directly into the skillet. Immediately add the basil, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.

  3. When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat under the sauce. Evenly distribute the mozzarella into the sauce. Use a wire-mesh skimmer to remove the pasta from the pot and place it directly into the skillet. Fold the fusilli into the sauce. Continue to fold until the mozzarella has melted and attached itself to the fusilli.

  4. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Number one, I love fusilli. Number two, I love the tangy flavor of mozzarella di bufala. This dish perfectly matches the two ingredients to make a classic pasta dish. Al telefono refers to the string of cheese that drops down from the fusilli with every forkful that's lifted off the plate. I could eat this dish every day.

Reprinted with permission from Pasta Sfoglia by Ron and Colleen Suhanosky. Copyright (c) 2009, Wiley.

• Read the book review: Pasta Sfoglia