Pasta With Mascarpone, Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach


I just recently discovered the joy of using mascarpone cheese for dishes other than desserts and now I wonder just what took me so long. Mascarpone is is a very soft, creamy cheese with just a hint of sweetness, and although it is wonderful in many of my favorite dessert recipes, it also lends itself wonderfully to pasta and main entree dishes. I had a small tub of mascarpone in my refrigerator that I needed to use up and decided to incorporate it into an easy pasta dish I had in mind for dinner. I simply mixed the creamy mascarpone with some lemon zest, lemon juice and lots of cracked black pepper for the sauce. I sauteed some cubes of chicken thighs, added some chopped sun-dried tomatoes and baby spinach and in under 30 minutes I had a delicious main course pasta dish. Since the mascarpone is so thick and creamy, you can thin it a bit using some of the pasta water when mixing it into the hot, cooked pasta.

I used a package of artisan pasta shells in my version, but almost any pasta shape would work as the mascarpone clings nicely to the pasta. To top my pasta dish, I fried up some coarse breadcrumbs in olive oil with a bit of garlic, but grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese would also work. In place of the chicken, sauteed shrimp would also work nicely with the lemon flavored mascarpone sauce.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011


Pasta With Mascarpone, Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

This pasta dish is a complete meal in a bowl!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Mascarpone Cheese At Room Temperature
Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cleaned Of Fat And Cut Into 1 Inch Dice
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
Salt & Pepper
1/3 Cup Chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 (9 Ounce) Bag Baby Spinach
1 (500 Gram) Package Pasta
To Serve:
Sauteed Garlic Breadcrumbs or
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano/ Pecorino Cheese

Directions:

Combine the zest, lemon juice, mascarpone, and pepper in a bowl, and whisk to combine.
Bring a pasta pot of salted water to boil.
While waiting on the water, heat the oil in a skillet, and cook the chicken until it is cooked through and just beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes .
Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, then season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta until al dente, taking it off the heat about 1 to 2 minutes before you would normally remove it.
Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Return the pasta to the pot, and set over medium heat.
Stir in the mascarpone and lemon mixture, the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach.
Loosen the sauce with about 1/4 cup of the water and toss all over the ingredients together until the spinach has wilted and everything is piping hot, adding a little additional pasta water if needed.
Serve immediately, topped with grated cheese or sauteed breadcrumbs.



 

8 Responses to “Pasta With Mascarpone, Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach”

  1. 1
    Charlotte — April 26, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Love this recipe. I’m so glad I found it. I shared it with a friend and she used it in a wedding she catered. Everyone loved it.

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  2. 2
    Leslie — August 26, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    Really tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

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  3. 3
    Kristin - The Goat — October 3, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    Oh goodness, this is so good! I have a mouthful right now :) I changed out the chicken thighs to chicken breast because we had that already cooked and I used Quinoa spiral pasta to make it gluten free. Delicious!

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  4. 4
    Sherry — October 30, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    I am trying the meal tonight & I can’t wait! Do you know the nutrional value of the meal? thank you!

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    Deborah Reply:

    Sherry, I do not do nutritional values for my recipes. There are many online programs you can use if you’d like to do it yourself.

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  5. 5
    Emma — December 4, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    Made this tonight… Lord, it was amazing. Substituted pancetta for the protein, Mmm! I also love strong lemon taste, so two instead of one. Did some approximate calorie counts and got something around 2,900-3,000 for the entire batch. I didn’t fret seeing as it filled two Tupperware containers, aka three dinners.

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  6. 6
    Arline VanDeWater — July 1, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    Hard to please the hubby when there’s spinach involved, but simply made up a bowl for him without it then added the spinach to the rest for me! Delicious, easy meal. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. 7
    Sean — September 9, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    I’m the chef at a small neighborhood pizzeria and Italian eatery. We do a different pasta feature every Thursday that has become quite popular with our guests. Thank you for providing this week’s special. I’ll send you some pics and guest feedback.

    [Reply]

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