Saturday, May 29, 2010

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Baked Mascarpone & Mozarella Pasta

I completely forgot to share this recipe with you. I made it a long time ago and absolutely loved it. I tweaked the recipe a little and the resulting meal was phenomenal. What I loved the most about this dish was that I got to use a cheese (mascarpone) I rarely use and I got to use it in savory dish instead of a sweet dish. The pasta was cheesy, creamy, and had such a fresh and smooth taste. It was like a kicked up Italian mac & cheese. If you love cheese, then this dish is for you.
Baked Mascarpone & Mozzarella Pasta
Adapted from Cooking Light (here)

1/2 pound uncooked penne (I used shells)
1/8 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 oz ham, sliced (or prosciutto)
Cooking spray
2 tablespoon butter
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I omitted)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in salt and black pepper.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sliced ham; cook until crispy. Add ham and cooked pasta to cheese mixture and stir until coated. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley.

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