Creamy Mascarpone Cheese And Wild Arugula Pasta

This luxurious pasta is elegant enough to serve for a dinner party yet quick enough to enjoy as a midweek meal. Mascarpone cheese is a creamy, spoonable cheese found at Italian delis and specialty markets as well as the cheese section of most major supermarkets. If you can't find wild arugula, use regular arugula instead.

Creamy Mascarpone Cheese And Wild Arugula Pasta i i
Susan Russo for NPR
Creamy Mascarpone Cheese And Wild Arugula Pasta
Susan Russo for NPR

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

1/2 pound gemelli, or other similar shaped pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, or cavatelli

3 ounces mascarpone cheese

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons hot pasta water

3 packed cups wild arugula

3 to 4 tablespoons grated Reggiano-Parmigiano or Grana Padano cheese

1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional

In a large pot, cook pasta in salted boiling water according to directions, until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and hot pasta water until smooth and creamy.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add arugula and toss. Add the cheese sauce and toss until well coated. Divide among plates. Sprinkle with grated cheese, red pepper flakes and, if desired, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

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