Mafalda Pasta in Creamy Tomato Sauce with Cheesy Bread
Family Friendly

Mafalda Pasta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

with Cheesy Bread

30 MIN
4 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    This pasta dish gets dynamic flavor from sautéed zucchini, briny capers, and a bit of mascarpone cheese that we’re pairing with ruffle-edged mafalda pasta. It’s all complete with a side of warm, Italian-seasoned cheesy bread.
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    Dietary Information

    Vegetarian
    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      840 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Mafalda Pasta in Creamy Tomato Sauce with Cheesy Bread
    Title
    • ¾ lb Mafalda Pasta
    • 2 Small Baguettes
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 2 Zucchini
    • 1 bunch Parsley
    • 1 Tbsp Capers
    • ½ cup Cream
    • ¼ cup Grated Romano Cheese
    • 1 oz Salted Butter
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
    • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
    • 1 14-Oz Can Whole Datterini Tomatoes
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Halve the baguettes. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

    Cook the pasta
    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the zucchini
    3 Cook the zucchini

    Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer; Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.  

    Make the sauce
    4 Make the sauce

    In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic and capers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the crushed tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and half the Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat; taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Make the cheesy bread
    5 Make the cheesy bread

    Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with foil. Place the halved baguettes, cut side up, on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with the fontina and remaining Italian seasoning. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Carefully transfer to a cutting board; when cool enough to handle, halve on an angle.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the sauce, cream, butter, cooked zucchini, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated and the butter is melted (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the mascarpone until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta with the cheesy bread on the side. Garnish the pasta with the romano and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Halve the baguettes. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the pasta
    Cook the zucchini
    3 Cook the zucchini

    Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer; Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.  

    4 Make the sauce

    In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic and capers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the crushed tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and half the Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat; taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Make the sauce
    Make the cheesy bread
    5 Make the cheesy bread

    Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with foil. Place the halved baguettes, cut side up, on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with the fontina and remaining Italian seasoning. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Carefully transfer to a cutting board; when cool enough to handle, halve on an angle.

    6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the sauce, cream, butter, cooked zucchini, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated and the butter is melted (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the mascarpone until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta with the cheesy bread on the side. Garnish the pasta with the romano and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
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