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Pasta with mascarpone cheese and homemade pesto

February 26, 2009

Pasta with Mascarpone Cheese and Homemade Pesto

I have had two containers of mascarpone (I love that word!) cheese sitting in my fridge for a week or so, and since I’ve never cooked or baked with it before, I’ve been looking for a good way to use it.  I found this recipe and thought we’d all enjoy it since we are big fans of alfredo sauce and pesto sauce.  I kind of hoped it would be the perfect combination of both.  I made my own pesto sauce, which was fun and easy to do, then mixed it in with some mascarpone and pasta water.  I found that the dish wasn’t nearly salty enough, but sprinkling some extra parmesan cheese over the top helped with that.  The mascarpone made a very rich sauce for the pasta, but we all definitely like alfredo better.  In fact, neither of the kids liked this much, and I think Jim and I agree that the pesto sauce mixed with the pasta water would suit us more.  I’ve got enough leftover pesto to freeze and try it that way another time.

Recipe:  Pasta with Mascarpone Cheese

16 oz. package of pasta

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

pesto sauce, recipe follows

salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions; reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain well. In a large bowl, combine hot pasta, mascarpone cheese and reserved cooking water; toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve pasta immediately in bowls accompanied with a dollop of pesto.

Homemade Pesto Sauce

The last time I bought pesto from the deli section of the grocery store, we were really disappointed with it.  It was bitter, gritty, and had a lot of tough stems in it.  Overall, it was a huge bust and we ended up barely eating dinner that night.  When I saw the recipe that used the mascarpone cheese and homemade pesto, I was happy to pull out the blender to make my own.  I think I got a little too eager with the pulsing button though, because it came out a bit smoother than I would have liked.  It smelled so great while it was whirling around in there!  I’m looking forward to trying it with some pasta all on its own.  It’d also be great with chicken.

Recipe:  Homemade Pesto Sauce

3 c. fresh basil leaves

1 1/2 c. shelled walnuts

4 cloves peeled garlic

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 c. olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

In a food processor or blender, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2009 11:07 pm

    Wow, you have a great blog! Thanks for visiting mine!
    Pasta looks delicious! Pasta rules, and it’s for dinner tonight! :)

  2. February 27, 2009 10:45 am

    This looks yummy- I love pesto and that combo sounds interesting.

  3. oneordinaryday permalink
    February 28, 2009 12:53 am

    Thank you so much, Medena! : )
    Michelle, this was pretty good, and a really quick meal to get ready.
    – Shell

  4. March 2, 2009 10:59 pm

    It looked yummy and I was going to try it with the mascarpone that was sitting in my fridge for ages. But when I took it out it had been in there for too long and gone off.
    And now I’ve actually read your post (I saw the recipe and for ONCE thought: I can do this!) I see you actually didn’t like it very much… .
    So what else will you try with the mascarpone? Make it easy again, so if it’s good I can try it.
    I keep seeing mascarpone come up and I don’t have the first clue of what to do with it. But it does sound intriguing…

  5. March 3, 2009 1:04 am

    The colour of that pesto is gorgeous! I’ve just started my planting for spring/summer – hopefully I get enough basil to make some pesto!

  6. May 5, 2009 2:57 pm

    I just linked this recipe on my post about tiramisu cake, suggesting to my readers that you can make a pasta sauces with mascarpone cheese. I liked the sound of this.

  7. April 17, 2014 1:08 am

    Yum! I am using a similar recipe for dinner now :-)

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