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amazing pasta with pesto & mascapone

Since some people find pesto rich or overpowering, I created this recipe to smooth the flavor of pesto in order to make it easier and sweeter on the palate.

I find that cooking the garlic a little before blending makes the pesto taste milder as well, but you can also remove the garlic all together.  And of course, there is always the option of substituting one-half of the basil with either fresh spinach or lacinato kale.

amazing pasta with pesto & mascapone

Since some people find pesto rich or overpowering, I created this recipe to smooth the flavor of pesto in order to make it easier and sweeter on the palate.

I find that cooking the garlic a little before blending makes the pesto taste milder as well, but you can also remove the garlic all together.  And of course, there is always the option of substituting one-half of the basil with either fresh spinach or lacinato kale.

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 6
Pesto
2 cups fresh basil, washed and roughly chopped
optional: 3 cloves garlic, skin removed
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1-2 tablespoons if using the garlic
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
salt to taste
1/2 cup mascapone italian cheese
Pasta
1 1/2 pounds of pasta, shape of your choice
1.5 tablespoons salt
little olive oil to finish off at the end
garnish
few sprigs of fresh basil leaves
sprinkle of parmesan cheese
optional: fresh tomatoes
salt to taste
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amazing pasta with pesto & mascapone
  • time
    25 min
  • serves
    6
  • skill level
    Easy

Ingredients

  • Pesto

  • Pasta

  • garnish

Directions

1
Done

optional

On low heat, add about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan and cook garlic until translucent. Set aside.

2
Done

pesto

Add the basil leaves to the bowl of a food processor and then put in other ingredients, except the salt. You will also add garlic if preferred.

3
Done

Blitz together until you have a nice smooth paste, it only takes about one minute. Add salt, mix again and taste.

4
Done

pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, 4 quarts or 2 litres per pound. You want plenty of water - pasta needs to move around or it will become mushy. If you do not have a large pot, use two small ones.

5
Done

Add a generous amount of salt - or a general rule is one heaping tablespoon for each pound of pasta. The water should be "slightly less salty than the sea."

6
Done

Add the preferred pasta shape to the water. Set a timer for 7 minutes but test pasta after 5 minutes.

7
Done

Before removing pasta, take a mug full of the pasta water to use later in the sauce. The starch from the water helps bind the sauce to the pasta.

8
Done

Once the pasta is al dente (slightly chewy and less resistant to the bite), remove immediately and drain.

9
Done

mixing sauce and pasta together

In a large saucepan over medium heat, place the pesto and gently heat. Add the mascapone and few tablespoons of the pasta water.

10
Done

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss well.

11
Done

Place in large serving bowl or individual bowls, sprinkle with some extra cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

12
Done

Optional

Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes that have been tossed with a little salt and olive oil.