This is the easiest vegetarian pasta option that requires very little preparation for a comforting weeknight dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast. Yes, that sometimes happened to me when I was a student and had some delicious left-over pasta that could not wait for the next night meal to be gobbled up. The original recipe was even simpler back then, but throughout time I figured that a light addition of several easy to come about ingredients made a huge difference in taste and flavors, and still remained budget-friendly too. Today, my recipe became a delicious Creamy Tomato and Basil Pasta with Italian Mascarpone.
We, Niçois, are big pasta eaters. Nice used to belong to Italy at some point in History, and it’s only in 1860 that it has been won back by France, along with Savoie region. But around here we kept the habit of eating pasta very often, not necessarily on a daily basis but almost, therefore one has to become creative in time, so to bring a little fun and variation in recipes. I hope you’ll enjoy this one. For the non vegetarian readers, it goes great with my Chorizo Bread, especially if you want to bring a little more flavors and use the bread to dip in the sauce. Or clean your plate with it!
- About 250 to 300 grams of large Rigatoni pasta #24
- Save a bit of the cooking water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 handfuls of white button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper (optional)
- 1 can of tomato puree
- 1 pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp of Cayenne pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp of chopped basil leaves (or dried basil flakes)
- a bit of parsley
- 4 to 5 generous tbsp of Mascarpone
- Parmesan or Grana Padano to serve
- Cook the pasta al dente. For these Rigatoni #24, the cooking time is 12 minutes. For other pasta, check the al dente cooking time on the package.
- Drain the pasta and keep about 3 large tbsp of cooking water for the sauce.
- Dice the bell pepper, mince the garlic, and peel & slice the mushrooms.
- Heat olive oil in a pan with high edges.
- Start cooking the garlic and mushrooms, then add the bell pepper after several minutes.
- Pour the tomato puree and add the pinch of sugar to reduce acidity of the sauce.
- Salt, pepper, and add the Cayenne.
- Sprinkle basil and parsley, pour the pasta cooking water, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- To finish the sauce, combine the Mascarpone.
- Transfer the pasta into the pan, and combine well so that the sauce perfectly coats the pasta inside-out.
- Immediately serve, and top with grated Parmesan cheese or Grana Padano.
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.