I love pasta in all its forms. Recently, I've become obsessed with a Youtube channel called Pasta Grannies, which is about (you guessed it) Italian grandmas making all kinds of pasta types. One of the first videos I saw was of a Pasta Granny making su filindeu, or "threads of God," a Sardinian pasta type that is typically served in a rich broth as a soup to feed travelers on pilgrimages.

Another favorite video of mine, on the easier part of the spectrum, is this video of a Pasta Granny making fresh busiate, a corkscrew pasta, topped with pesto alla trapanese, a tomato-based pesto.

The pasta recipe I am about to share with you is, well, not that pasta.

We here at Spoon love quick and easy pastas, including this pepped-up pesto pasta and this very easily veganizable zucchini pasta recipe from the Duchess of Sussex. Get ready to add this pasta recipe to that repertoire!

This pasta recipe uses two key tricks, and they are:

1. Sautéing the vegetables in butter and then adding pre-made tomato sauce to round out the flavors

I learned this technique from a recipe for Gino's Rigatoni Al Segreto by Chef John from Foodwishes.com. You will be so surprised at how much more luxurious the pasta sauce turns out using this method.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce With Onions and Butter uses the exact same principle to liven up fresh tomatoes and add a rich contrasting element to the sauce.

2. Literally the best mix-in ever: Mascarpone Cheese

Ever since my aunt made me roasted vegetable pasta with a tomato-cream sauce for the first time, I have been hooked to the flavor combination. There is something about a pink sauce that screams comfort to me. However, heavy cream doesn't always add flavor; you always risk watering down the pungent flavors of the tomato sauce if you add too much cream. That's where the mascarpone comes in. It adds the milky richness of the cream, but is sour enough to the point where it adds a little bit of its own which complements the acid pungency of the tomato sauce. The result is one of the most divine pasta sauces I have made ever with minimal effort.

So without further ado, here is my recipe for this amazing pasta dish.

Pasta with a Tomato-Mascarpone Sauce

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:20 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 10-12 tbsp jarred marinara sauce
  • 4 oz any long pasta - I used capellini
  • 1 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • Cheese for topping - I used Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
Bhageerathi Ganesan
  • Step 1

    Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain; reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

    Bhageerathi Ganesan
  • Step 2

    Saute Zucchini with 1 tbsp butter; cover with water and cook with the burner on high until very soft. Drain water; wilt spinach.

    Bhageerathi Ganesan
  • Step 3

    Combine marinara sauce with vegetables and remaining butter; toss with pasta, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Add mascarpone to pasta.

    Bhageerathi Ganesan
  • Step 4

    Toss pasta thoroughly; serve hot in a warmed bowl and top with cheese. Bon appetit!

    Bhageerathi Ganesan

Luxury in 40 minutes is the name of this dish! Bon appetit!