This Rigatoni with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Mascarpone Sauce brings together the intense richness of sun-dried tomatoes, the fresh aroma of basil, and the velvety creaminess of mascarpone cheese. It is a flavor explosion that is simply incredible!
If you’re a pasta lover like me, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this mouthwatering rigatoni recipe! Tender rigatoni is coated in a luxurious, creamy sauce bursting with the intense flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and savory Parmesan cheese.
The creaminess in this delectable rigatoni recipe comes from a luxurious combination of ingredients. The star of the show is mascarpone cheese, a rich and creamy Italian cheese with a velvety texture.
Mascarpone is made from cream. It is similar to cream cheese in terms of consistency but has a more delicate flavor and is even creamier.
Sun-dried tomatoes: Oil vs. Dried
Using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil instead of the traditional dried ones adds a whole new dimension of flavor to this pasta dish. The tomatoes are plump, juicy, and infused with the rich taste of the oil, which intensifies their sweetness and enhances their texture.
The oil also serves as a luxurious base for the sauce, ensuring that every mouthful is coated with its sumptuous essence. It’s a game-changer that takes this recipe to the next level.
So how do we make this incredible sauce?
- Cook the rigatoni pasta until it’s perfectly al dente.
- Blend sun-dried tomatoes, organic chicken broth, and fresh basil leaves until smooth.
- Sauté diced onions in sun-dried tomato oil until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the tomato puree and cook for one more minute, then add the mascarpone cheese.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until creamy. Return it to the skillet and add half a cup of pasta water.
- Whisk or stir, then add another half a cup of pasta water. Continue thinning out the sauce as desired.
- Toss the cooked rigatoni in the sauce until well coated. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- Serve the dish with fresh parsley and extra shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Enjoy the scrumptious combination of sun-dried tomatoes, aromatic basil, and luscious mascarpone cheese all in one delightful plate of pasta perfection!
- What can I substitute for mascarpone cheese? If you can’t find mascarpone cheese or prefer an alternative, you can use cream cheese as a substitute. The sauce will still be creamy and delicious.
- How long can I store the sauce in the refrigerator? The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just reheat it gently on the stovetop before serving.
- Is this dish vegetarian-friendly? Yes, this pasta dish can easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and ensuring the cheese used is suitable for vegetarians.
- Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Absolutely! Just use gluten-free rigatoni or your favorite gluten-free pasta brand, and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free, including the chicken or vegetable broth and any added condiments.
- How spicy is the sauce with the Sriracha? The spiciness level can be adjusted according to your preference. You can start with a small amount of Sriracha and add more if you want a spicier sauce.
- Can I freeze the sauce? While the sauce can be frozen, keep in mind that mascarpone cheese might not hold up well after freezing. For best results, freeze the sauce without the mascarpone and add it after reheating.
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RIGATONI WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, BASIL AND MASCARPONE
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This pasta sauce doesn’t use regular tomatoes, its flavor is intensified with sundried tomatoes, fresh garlic and basil and combined with mascarpone cheese and parmesan cheese for the most epic sauce ever!
- 6 oz. Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in oil (save 1 Tbsp oil)
- ½ Cup Chicken Stock
- 1 Bunch Basil Leaves
- ½ Cup Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste + 2 Tablespoons water combined
- 3 Tablespoons Mascarpone Cheese
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1–2 Cups Pasta Water
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (if necessary)
- 1 Box Rigatoni Pasta
- Cook the rigatoni pasta in a large pot of water until al dente.
- In a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes, chicken broth, and basil until smooth, setting it aside for later use.
- In a large skillet, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add more sun-dried tomato oil or regular olive oil if needed. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for one more minute. Finally, add the mascarpone cheese.
- Transfer the mixture back to the food processor and puree until smooth. Return it to the skillet and scoop out ½ cup of pasta water. Whisk or stir, adding another ½ cup once it is fully incorporated. Continue to thin out the sauce to your desired consistency by adding ¼ cup increments of pasta water.
- Drain the cooked rigatoni and add it to the sauce, mixing well to coat each piece. Stir in the Parmesan cheese for added creaminess.
- Serve the creamy rigatoni with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and extra shaved Parmesan cheese for a delightful finishing touch.