A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta

I recently had a good amount of mascarpone left over from a previous recipe that I needed to use up. It's an ingredient that I love, but not one that I cook with very often (I think I need to change that!). If you're not familiar with it, mascarpone is basically Italian cream cheese. It is rich, smooth, creamy, and just a little bit sweet. You'll often see it used in Italian desserts (like tiramisu), but I decided to use it in a savory dish tonight.

This pasta dish is heartier than pasta with marinara sauce, but certainly not as rich (and calorie-laden) as an alfredo. It's a great marriage of the two-- creamy and full of tomato flavor. It reminds me a bit of vodka sauce. The pasta is great on its own, or you could serve it with grilled chicken or roasted veggies to round out the entire meal.

  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14-oz. can of petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 oz. pasta, cooked *I used whole wheat linguine
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.

Carefully pour the tomatoes and juice into the pan, stirring to incorporate. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the salt, peppers, basil, oregano, and mascarpone cheese. Stir to combine. Stir in the fresh chopped basil and add the pasta. Toss gently to combine and serve warm with grated Parmesan or fresh basil, if desired.

Adapted from original recipe via OMG! I Love to Cook.

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