Everyone needs a go-to pasta sauce for mid-week dinners. This simple tomato and mascarpone sauce is a quick way to make a delicious meal. Wonderfully creamy with a fresh flavour, it’s as delicious as it is versatile!
Try serving this creamy pasta with a leafy side like Spring Pea and Arugula Salad!
Quick and easy pasta recipes are absolute life savers for those mid-week meals when time is at a premium. Experience has taught me that I need to have a few simple meal options in order to keep up with the pace of things around my house.
This tomato and mascarpone sauce meets that challenge perfectly. The sauce takes only 20 minutes to make, and most importantly, leaves everyone happy afterwards.
The tomato passata brings a lovely sweetness and fresh taste to the pasta, helped by fresh basil leaves. This is perfectly balanced out by the sumptuously creamy mascarpone. The result is pure comfort!
Tomato and mascarpone sauce
I learned from Italian friends that not every pasta sauce should be packed full of ingredients. Some of the most common Italian recipes use a minimum of ingredients yet result in truly fantastic meals.
The secret is high quality ingredients in careful balance to allow the individual flavours to shine through. This tomato and mascarpone sauce is no different. With such a short list of ingredients, it is important to choose quality to get the best results.
Look for a tomato passata that is made from ripe, sweet tomatoes. I found that passata sourced from Italy has the most reliable quality.
Fresh basil leaves are also important, so avoid dried basil if at all possible. And choose the freshest mascarpone you can find!
Recipe tips and notes
- I’ve recommended using this sauce with tagliatelle, but any long, sturdy pasta shape will do well. Fettuccine and linguine are both good options.
- Pasta is a wonderfully simple ingredient to work with, but it still takes a bit of attention to make really well. Take a look at my pasta category for my top tips and many more great recipes!
- It’s far better to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano instead of store-bought pre-grated parmesan. Pre-grated Parmesan loses far too much moisture and flavour. Additives are also put in pre-grated cheese to keep it from sticking together, dulling the flavour even more. Grating your own parmesan will provide the best flavour and texture.
- If you are looking to make a vegetarian pasta, it’s worth noting that Parmesan made with traditional methods is not vegetarian. Take a look at the package if you are not sure. Vegetarian hard cheese is increasingly available and clearly labelled.
This recipe uses the Italian method of serving pasta, where the sauce is mixed into the cooked pasta before serving. This will ensure that the tomato and mascarpone sauce is evenly mixed into the pasta.
Storage and leftovers
While the sauce will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, pasta is best eaten fresh. But obviously you won’t want to throw any out, so keep for up to 3 days and reheat any leftovers in a microwave.
I don’t recommend freezing pasta generally, and this sauce will not do well when frozen.
More pasta sauces
- Pasta Cream Sauce
- Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce
- 5 Minute Ravioli Sauce
- Easy Carbonara Sauce
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- ½ onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 80 ml / ¼ cup dry white wine or Vermouth
- 500 g / 18oz tomato passata
- 125 g / ½ cup mascarpone
- 25 g / ¼ cup Parmesan cheese or vegetarian hard cheese
- 500 g / 16oz tagliatelle or other long pasta shape
- Put the tagliatelle in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, then add finely diced onion and cook for 5 minutes over low heat, then add minced garlic and stir briefly, deglaze the pan with the white wine and let it simmer for 5 minutes until the wine is reduced.
- Add the tomato passata, dried basil and salt, stir to combine and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the mascarpone and stir let it simmer over low heat until the pasta is ready. Then stir in the hard cheese.
- Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, toss gently until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.