When it comes to versatile ingredients, mascarpone is perhaps the king. Perfect in both sweet and savory dishes, this creamy, mild cheese adds a touch of sweetness and richness to whatever dish it accentuates. The word mascarpone comes from the Spanish, "mas que bueno," more than good. That should be reason enough to test out some mascarpone recipes this Meatless Monday!
Image Kimberley Stakal
Try out our radish and pea pasta for a light supper. A touch of mascarpone lends a bit of richness to the dish. While spring peas are probably not available yet, organic frozen peas make a great substitute. There are several varieties of winter radish that will lend a bit more pepperiness to the recipe, which means that the sweet creaminess of an added dollop of mascarpone adds just the balance you need.
Mascarpone also adds richness to risotto, though it's not a traditional ingredient. Still, one bite of this vibrant red wine risotto, and you'll be a convert. To make this recipe Meatless Monday friendly, be sure to sub a light vegetable stock for the chicken stock called for.
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Mascarpone adds richness to sweet dishes as well. These chocolate-pumpkin cupcakes are just as good post-Halloween, with their warming spices and deep chocolate flavor. The mascarpone creates a frosting that resembles a milder version of classic cream cheese frosting.
Image: Emily Monaco
Perhaps mascarpone's most popular use is in the classic Italian dessert, tiramisu. Be sure to either coddle your eggs or use organic eggs for this version, which doesn't call for cooking the eggs before adding them to the custard mixture. It's even better the next day, so make enough for leftovers!
Top Image: nebulux
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