Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cheese of the Month - Mascarpone

Another month, another cheese! Cheese of the Month is hosted by Brittney of Adventures in Gluttony and this month's selection was mascarpone! I was excited about this choice because, believe it or not, I have never had mascarpone. To me it was the cheese that was used in Tiramisu, and I DO NOT like tiramisu! So, mascarpone was never something I considered.

Boy am I glad I joined Cheese of the Month because mascarpone is delicious. It is so rich and creamy! I love it! I made two different recipes using mascarpone, dinner and dessert!

I'll start with dessert, because it was my favorite! I got the idea from Leslie over at The Hungry Housewife after October's Daring Baker challenge. She made a brown sugar mascarpone pizza topped with blueberries and homemade dulce de leche. As soon as I saw her post I KNEW that I would have to make that on my next pizza night.

Sometimes messy = good!!!

Now, there isn't really a recipe for it, but I hope you'll make it one day! I just mixed in a little brown sugar with some mascarpone and spread it on the pizza dough. Then I topped it with blueberries and a streusel topping. After the pizza came out of the oven, I drizzled it with homemade dulce de leche (click here for the recipe). It tasted FANTASTIC! The entire pizza was gone in about 10 minutes. And, no, I didn't eat it all. I shared with 3 friends! Thanks, Leslie, for an awesome recipe idea!

The second dish was made mostly for my friend, Monica. She loves mushrooms and as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it for her. Me, well, I don't care for mushrooms all that much. I mean, I'll eat them, but they aren't my favorite. To be honest, I picked out the mushrooms from my bowl and gave them to Monica's daughter! HA HA HA!

Even though I picked out my mushrooms, this dish was amazingly good! It was incredibly easy to throw together and was on the table in the amount of time that it took the pasta to cook. Tasty and quick... it doesn't get any better than that!

Don't forget to check out Adventures in Gluttony at the end of the month for the round up! And I'll leave you with this link on how to make your own mascarpone. I didn't get around to doing it this month, but would love to try it one day!

Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Recipe from Giada DeLaurentis

1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound assorted mushrooms, (such as cremini, shiitake and button), cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes until all the liquid evaporates. Add the stock and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until creamy. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to coat pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the chopped chives. Serve immediately.


Clumbsy Cookie said...

I love mascarpone in any way! What a nice pasta dish!

HoneyB said...

Both recipes look great! I will be bookmarking the pasta one for sure because I also love Giada's recipes!

Maria said...

I love mascarpone! Lovely looking pasta meal!

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