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! This pasta could not be easier to make and it’s so full of flavor that I think it’s outranked my vodka sauce. Even though I love me some pasta with vodka cream sauce, this one just about blew it away!
The addition of sun dried tomatoes is what takes this sauce from good to outstanding. They are PACKED full of flavor, so much more than canned tomatoes could ever do.
This recipe uses just about everything you will find in your pantry which I why these types of recipes are so popular and convenient. We have all found ourselves in the “what’s for dinner?” situation.
So you have your basics – your chicken stock, onions, garlic, tomato paste and pasta, for example.
Now let’s talk sun dried tomatoes. There are a few kinds. There is the dried and bagged kind. You can find them in the produce section. They come whole or chopped.
The next type are again are whole or chopped and they are jarred in oil. Those are the ones we are using for our recipe. Not only are we going to sauté our onions in some of that oil, we are going to add it directly to the sauce as well.
What is unusual in this recipe, and if I am correct this is the only recipe on our blog that uses it, is MASCARPONE cheese. Mascarpone is kind of like an Italian cream cheese, only it has a much higher milk fat so it’s very thick and very creamy. It’s delish and comes in a container similar to this.
Please do not substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone – they can sometimes be used interchangeably, however this recipe is not one of them as your sauce will not come out the same.
So how do we make this beautiful sauce?
- First you want to boil up some water for your pasta – now this is key. You want HEAVILY salted water, like a Tablespoon or two at least and the reason for this is twofold. First off salted water will get into the pasta therefore reducing the amount of salt you need in the sauce itself. Plus we will be using at least of cup of the reserved water in our sauce, again reducing salt but also providing some much needed starch.
- Next you want to grab the sundried tomatoes, stock and basil and puree it in a food processor until smooth. Keep it in there, we’re not done with it.
- Sauté your onions and garlic in a tablespoon of the oil that the sun dried tomatoes are packed in. Add your tomato puree and let that cook for a minute at least. This will get rid of the tinny taste from the can and deepen the tomato flavor. Then drop them into the food processor and give ’em a whirl around, as much as you like, smooth or chunky.
- Put in all back in the pan, add some thick, creamy mascarpone, a splash of half and half (or heavy cream) and some of the reserved water until you get the consistency you like (at least a cup is recommended). Drain your pasta and add that. Give it a GOOD mixing. Let that sauce get way inside those big long rigatoni noodles.
- Top with shaved parmesan cheese and loosen your belt buckle.
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 Organic Chicken Stock
- 1 Bunch Organic Basil Leaves
- ½ Cup Organic Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Organic 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
- Begin by filling a large pot with water and cook the pasta until al dente
- At the same time, pulse the sun dried tomatoes, chicken broth and basil in a food processor until smooth. Keep it in there for the next step.
- In a large skillet, sauté the onions in 1 Tablespoon of the sun dried tomato oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add more sun dried oil or regular olive oil if necessary. Add the tomato puree and cook another minute. Add the mascarpone.
- Transfer to the food processor and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and scoop out ½ cup pasta water. Whisk or stir, adding another ½ cup once it is incorporated. Continue to thin out by ¼ cup increments to your desired consistency.
- Drain and add the rigatoni and finish by stirring through the Parmesan cheese.
- Serve with fresh parsley and extra shaved Parmesan cheese.
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