Recipe 36: Pasta with Mascarpone and Sage

OK.  So clearly full-time employment and weekly blogging on a very specific theme do not agree with me.  I’m not proud of that.  Seriously, I read these blogs written by people who work and parent and still manage to make fabulous food (not to mention keep a space on the counter clean enough to photograph the product of their labors), and I turn absolutely chartreuse with envy.  I have been cooking, but not as much mac as a person who runs a mac and cheese blog “should” (quotations used because really, should anyone try to make as much mac as I’ve been aspiring to?).  Instead I’ve been experimenting with game meats, savory jellies, and finding creative uses for the overabundance of certain herbs from the garden before the evening frosts have killed them all.

Speaking of herb-gardening, this particular mac features sage as a key player.  At Loverman and my old apartment we had a sage plant that somehow managed to survive the terrible neglect we forced it to endure.  In fact, it seemed to have more lives than a cat.  It would wilt and brown, but then when we remembered its existence (along with the existence of our other potted herbs) and tended it, it would bounce back like Mario with an extra Life.  That sage gave many leaves to this recipe, which I made multiple times in that apartment, and it was not forgotten.  Could you use dried sage instead?  Sure – heck, I have plenty of times.  But it’s not going to have quite the same earthy, green notes as when you use fresh.

Pasta with Mascarpone and Sage (unknown source; I wrote the recipe on an index card)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta, any small shape (I usually use spirals or elbows, but really any small shape would work fine)
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/4c bread crumbs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves (if you use dry, use a 1:3 ratio dry:fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1c mascarpone cheese
  • 1c Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions.  To a medium-hot skillet, heat oil and add breadcrumbs, sage, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Sautee 3 – 4 minutes.  It smells amazing!  In a large bowl stir mascarpone and Parmesan cheese.  Add to pasta and toss.  Top with bread crumb mixture and serve.  It is seriously that easy.

Verdict: 4.5/5

As you can see, there is no photo.  The real reason is because I misplaced my camera when I made it (oops), but an equally believable reason would have been that it was so delicious, it got all glommed down in no-time-flat.  It is so easy to make there is no excuse not to try it.  The mascarpone is creamy and a little sweet without being too sweet, paired with the saltiness of the Parmesan and the earthiness of the sage makes this perfection in my mind.  The sage makes me think of autumn or even winter, but really there is no bad time to eat this mac.  It’s surprisingly light and just so good.

 

Since we are entering the home stretch, I am thinking of doing a blog where I can type about my non-mac cooking endeavors, as well as other attempts at domesticity.  It will likely be sporadic (as this one has become!), but a gal can’t live on mac alone.