I love pasta. I should be half Italian for the amount of pasta I eat. I think I eat it more than rice sometimes. My ultimate favorite pastas are the ones that are super creamy and rich. They’re probably also the worst ones for you, but if you portion control it and exercise daily, you should be fine :) a few extra calories won’t hurt you, especially if it’s something this delicious!
I’ve never cooked with mascarpone cheese up until this recipe. I was mostly afraid to use it because I’ve never experienced cooking with it before, nor have I ever tasted it (although, now I’m pretty positive I have tasted it in Italian cooking before). Mascarpone cheese is Italian cream cheese. It’s a lot creamier and has a smoother consistency. The taste, in my opinion, is better than American cream cheese. It’s not as heavy, either. I’ll definitely be cooking with this a lot more. It brings out the flavors of the dish and also gives the dish a very creamy texture and consistency. It’s not heavy too so you don’t feel gross after eating this. The cooked down tomatoes give a sweet flavor to the pasta dish. Along with all the other veggies in this, it’s a pretty hearty and filling meal!
Penne with Tomatoes & Veggies in Mascarpone Cream Sauce
1 lb. penne pasta
1 onion, sliced
2 handfuls of asparagus, cut into sections
10 button mushrooms, sliced
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- In a large pot, boil water for your pasta. Add a handful of salt to season your pasta.
- While your pasta is cooking, in a large skillet with a tbsp. of olive oil, cook down your cherry tomatoes until the skins are shriveled and it’s reduced down in size, about 5-7 minutes. Set them aside.
- In the same skillet, add in the butter and cook the veggies and garlic.
- Add in the crushed red peppers and chicken broth, scraping the bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Turn down the heat to low until your pasta is done cooking.
- Once your pasta is done cooking, drain well and add it to the skillet with the veggies.
- Add in the mascarpone cheese and stir until melted and well-combined.
- Add your tomatoes and gently fold them in with the pasta.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese all over and gently fold it in.
- Serve hot with more cheese on top :)
Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats