When it comes to Pasta recipes, one has to be creative and try variations of the type of pasta as well as toppings and sauces, to make it lively and non-monotonous. And luckily for busy moms like us, creating delicious pasta recipes is not at all difficult – in fact, everyone could come up with a recipe of their own. And here’s a rich, creamy take on vegetarian pasta recipe that comes straight from the Chef in You kitchen. Instead of going with the traditional Bechamel sauce, this recipe uses the similar creamy content of mascarpone cheese to produce the same effect in taste and texture, albeit, with a little flavor twist.
Linguine is a flat form of pasta – it looks similar to spaghetti, but is a little wider. The name linguine means “little tongues” in Italian, that should give you an idea of how it looks:)
Pairing mascarpone cheese with lemon juice as well as fresh lemon zest, we can creatively add vibrant flavors to an otherwise simple linguine pasta recipe. Add chopped vegetables of your choice, and if you are like me, you would also throw in a handful of toasted pine nuts. Within minutes you have a pasta dish worthy of being on any restaurant menu! I also add a list of some interesting ingredients to pair up at the end, so you get a new flavor every time.
Linguine with Mascarpone Cheese Sauce
4 oz packet of wholegrain linguine pasta
2 tbsp Mascarpone cheese
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (or as per taste)
1/4 cup cubed carrots
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup button mushrooms – chopped
salt to taste
cilantro/parsley to garnish
a handful of slivered almonds or pine nuts – lightly toasted (optional)
Steam the carrots for a few minutes till they get slightly cooked. At the very end, throw in the frozen peas and the chopped mushrooms in the same bowl so they become tender too. Cook the wholegrain linguine according to package instructions.
While the pasta cooks, in a large bowl, add 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese and the lemon zest along with the juice. You can either use 1 tbsp olive oil, or 1 tbsp hot water and whisk the cheese and lemon juice well to make a sauce.
Add the cooked linguine along with the steamed carrots, peas and mushrooms. Toss them well. You can add more cheese/lemon juice/pasta water/salt as per taste. Add a generous doze of black pepper if you like it a bit spicy.
Right before serving, add some chopped cilantro and the toasted pine nuts on the top.
Instead of making plain sauce, use fresh blanched asparagus, and puree it along with the mascarpone cheese to make a nice, grainy, earthy asparagus cream sauce
If asparagus is not in season, go for some roasted red-peppers or sun-dried tomatoes and churn them with the mascarpone cheese – you’ll have a delicious gourmet-style pasta sauce ready in no time.
White wine also pairs well with cheese and lemon, so feel free to throw in some of it while you cook the sauce for a richer fragrant flavor.