I love pasta, I really do. It's probably my favorite food on the whole planet. Once someone asked me, "Don't you get tired of eating pasta all the time?" Um, that's negatory, my friends. Definitely negatory. A few weeks ago, when Graham was detoxing before some procedures at the hospital, I took the opportunity to make something delicious for myself. He doesn't like creamy sauces and won't touch the stuff, so this was my chance to live it up! And I'm so glad I did.
Mascarpone cheese is a tangy Italian cream cheese. You'll find it often in tiramisu and Italian desserts. I was excited to try it here, and even more excited that I got to bring home a tub of mascarpone! Cupcakes, anyone?
Overall, this is a good meal, and I'm glad I tried it out. I'll keep this on the backburner for a girls night in or something, provided I ever plan one.
Farfalle alla Mascarpone
(Adapted from TK)
1 box farfalle pasta
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 onion, diced
1 14.5 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 T. dried basil
2 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/2 c. pasta water (reserve after cooking)
Boil water for pasta. Prep time for this will take about as long as it will for the water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Keep warm.
In a large pan, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add onion and saute for 5-8 minutes, until soft. When onion is ready, add tomatoes and basil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When sauce has cooked down, transfer to a food processor and whiz it around to give it a smoother consistency. I prefer mine with a touch of chunk, so I pulsed it about 8 times. Dump sauce back in the pan and add the mascarpone. Stir constantly until it has melted down. Add a little more if you want it thicker. Check for seasonings and add more salt, pepper, or basil if necessary.
When sauce is blended, add pasta to the pan and mix well. Add reserved pasta water if too thick, and serve garnished with basil and some cheese if necessary.
- I added a little more mascarpone, but I liked the tang it added.
- If you think to yourself, "I can't find mascarpone, but I do have this brick of Philly cream cheese here..." DON'T. DO. IT. Trust me when I say that while they're the same ingredient, it's just not going to work. They have different consistencies, for sure, and the taste will give you the shivers. Trust Frazzoo.
- Any fun shape of pasta will work here, but I like farfalle for its cute bow-tie and the little creases that hold sauce.