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Bowties with No-Cook Mascarpone Pesto Sauce

Bowties with No-Cook Mascarpone Pesto Sauce

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

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.

-No-cook sauce:
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

pine nuts

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.

Bowties with No-Cook Mascarpone Pesto Sauce

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Reader Comments (13)

Beautiful dish - so colorful and fresh looking. I love the tips on the substitutes - sometimes marscapone is difficult to find.

i'm always down for the no-cook dinner thing! holy yum! and marscapone is always where it's at :)

Oh this looks delicious and oh so easy! DEFINITELY getting added to our summer menu! What a great side dish to pack for a beach picnic too! Thanks!

June 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Looks great, and no cooking required is even better. I have been failing to reduce the amount of heat coming from my kitchen, despite the disgusting temperatures outside.

June 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Seriously craving this. I'm sure no breakfast helps but it's just everything I love Elle. Pasta, mascarpone, fresh tomatoes, parm. No seasoning mix but a whole lotta fresh herbs outside...I'm thinking some of them might do the trick!

I want this now! I am putting this on my list for this weekend!

My mom makes something like this for those hot summer days at camp but she uses mozzarella. I bet the marscapone is amazing!

June 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkat

Oh boy, this looks fabulous and I love that it keeps the heat to a bare minimum

June 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFeast on the Cheap

I've never seen that Chef Prudhomme seasoning before (I am a fan of his blackening one though!)...I love all the variations you make here, especially the one with the ricotta. I have some nice basic growing that needs to be picked...pesto it is. This looks delicious, and perfect for summertime supper.

June 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

Mmm, that does sound delicious and perfect for hot days when you want to spend as little time as possible over the stove! I don't know that seasoning. I'll have to check out what's in it.

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHopie

This sounds great. I haven't used many no-cook sauces so I want to try it. Pine nuts would be a great addition, but they are pretty expensive in Chicago. BTW, you don't have to use 1 teas. of Paul Prudhomme Pizza & Pasta Magic. The main ingredient in it is parmesan cheese. If you add 1/2 teas. dried parsley, 1/2 teas. dried oregano and 1/2 teas. tarragon you will just about have the same thing.

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck Mallory

girlfriend, I love this. I've been eating bowtie pasta a lot lately and this is nice sub to what I've been making consistently! :) And, yes, it's too hot to be cooking hot food but eating it cold doesn't sound like a bad idea.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBren

What a perfect summer meal! Looks delicious.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMalorie

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