Sometimes we find ourselves eating the same few meals most of the time, and this happens with pasta – we tend to make arrabiata and cheesy pasta all the time rather than anything new. Dave doesn’t like creamy pasta sauces either, which doesn’t help.
After a bit of googling of different tomato-based pasta sauces, I decided to make this quick and easy tomato and mascarpone sauce to have with spaghetti. I did plan to roast some peppers and maybe courgettes to toss into the sauce, but couldn’t be bothered to just tossed some spinach through instead, which was totally a good call.
This dish is a real comfort food dish and pretty cheap too. If you don’t have or want spinach, feel free to try out different vegetables, or even skip and serve with a side salad. You could also add in some cooked chicken to the sauce if you wanted a meat dish.
Tomato and mascarpone pasta (serves 2, 89p per portion)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes 31p (Tesco)
- 85g mascarpone 50p (£1.50 / 250g, Tesco)
- 1 small onion, finely sliced 3p (49p / kg, Morrisons)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed 4p (49p / 3 bulbs, Tesco)
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil 1p (£1.45 / litre, Tesco)
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano 6p (95p / 25g, Asda)
- a few fresh basil leaves (free from windowsill)
- 100g fresh spinach 50p (£1 / 200g, Tesco)
- 150-200g dried spaghetti 7p (19p / 500g, Tesco)
- Optional – 20g or so Grana Padano, parmesan or similar, finely shaved 25p (£2.50 /200g, Asda)
Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another minute, then add the tomatoes and oregano to the pan.
Simmer for around 20 minutes, until the tomato sauce is thick and reduced. Put the pasta on to cook as per the packet directions, and stir the mascarpone, spinach and basil into the sauce. It will look like way too much spinach, but as you cook it, it will wilt and cook down.
Season, keep warm and serve mixed through the cooked spaghetti, topped with parmesan or similar if desired.
89p per portion including the parmesan, or 77p without. If you’re wondering what to do with the leftover mascarpone, I’m planning on putting it on our pizzas on Friday. You could also use it in dessert, or to swirl on soup.