Yeah, I know. It’s hot, and you don’t want to cook. Totally get that. If you can stand the heat long enough to boil some pasta, then you can enjoy a fantastic dinner with this no-cook sauce. The sauce is a super easy blend of mascarpone, parmesan, pesto and a few other seasonings. It’s rich, creamy and packed with flavor. Plus, it's Meatless Monday!
No-cook sauces are such a great thing to have in your recipe arsenal in the summertime! You can quickly get the pasta made and while it’s cooking, you can throw a fabulous sauce together in no time at all. Use your favorites, and if you’ve got a garden, you’re ahead of the game! Tomatoes, herbs, peppers, cucumbers--you name it. Add some cheese and any seasonings you like, as well. Got leftovers in the fridge? Maybe some bacon, chicken, or shrimp? Add that in, too! Pick up a baguette to go with it and you’ve got a great meal.
Mascarpone. It’s easy and relatively inexpensive for me to find at Trader Joes. I’m positive that Whole Foods has it, but not sure of the price. I can’t always find it at my local regular grocery store. Not to worry of you can’t get it easily! Go ahead and use some ricotta instead. Check out these other ideas from one of my favorite sites, The Cooks Thesaurus:
Substitutes: Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup whipping cream. OR Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup cream OR Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/8 cup whipping cream and 1/8 cup sour cream. OR Whip ricotta cheese in a blender until smooth (lower in fat)
I use the Paul Prudhomme Pizza and Pasta Magic seasoning in this recipe--well, I use it in a lot of recipes! I just happened to come across it at the store one day and threw it in the cart. It’s one of my new secret ingredients. If you can’t find it locally, you can pick some up at Amazon. It’s worth it! You’ll start wondering what else you can add it to.
Bowties with No-Cook Mascarpone Pesto Sauce
Nicely coats one pound of cooked pasta. This can be used as a guideline-add what you like and make it to suit your tastes.
8 oz mascarpone
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 tsp Paul Prudhomme Pizza/Pasta Magic or other comparable seasoning
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3 heaping tbsp prepared pesto, or more to taste
fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water (taken out of the pot while it's cooking)
16 oz pasta
16 oz small heirloom tomatoes, or cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
more parmesan for sprinkling over
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together with a whisk, being sure to add some of that hot pasta water to loosen it up. Set aside.
After pasta is cooked and drained, pour it into a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently mix, stirring in the tomatoes and basil.
Check for seasoning and serve. Sprinkle with more parmesan, if you like, and pine nuts, if you've got them.