This Creamy Mushroom Mascarpone Pasta is a delicious savory vegetarian pasta dish with caramelized mushrooms, plenty of garlic, and al dente tagliatelle pasta in a luscious creamy mascarpone sauce. Comes together in about 30 minutes, making it a perfect easy vegetarian pasta recipe.
To make this mascarpone sauce with mushrooms you really just need a few key ingredients, each which pack a ton of flavor.
- Pasta: Tagliatelle is my pasta of choice for this recipe – the pasta coats the sauce very well.
- Mushrooms: Baby bella or cremini mushrooms (technically those are the same variety!) will be great. They are a stage older than white button mushrooms, and a stage younger than portobello mushrooms, so their flavor is perfectly robust and deep without being overwhelming.
- Garlic: Garlic brings a lot of flavor to this recipe so we want a lot of it – four cloves to be exact.
- Heavy cream: This is the base of the creamy mushroom sauce to make sure it gets nicceeeee and silky.
- Mascarpone cheese: A deliciously creamy and velvety Italian cheese that lusciously melts into the heavy cream (think: Italian cream cheese)
- Parmesan cheese: Brings a nice mild nuttiness and saltiness to the sauce.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is best as it'll have the most robust flavor and the mushrooms absorb some of that as they sauté.
- Parsley: A fresh element to finish off the dish!
Step by step instructions
Prep: clean and slice the mushrooms, chop the garlic, grate the parmesan cheese, and chop the parsley.
1. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
2. Sauté the mushrooms. Meanwhile, warm a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is warmed through, add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5-10 minutes until deep and rich in color.
3. Add the garlic. Add the garlic to the skillet with the sautéd mushrooms. Sauté for 2 minutes until very fragrant.
4. Add the heavy cream and mascarpone. To the same skillet add the heavy cream and mascarpone cheese. Stir gently until homogeneous and silky.
5. Add the parmesan cheese. Stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese until combined and let it all simmer together until slightly thickened and it coats the back of a spoon, 3 minutes.
6. Add the parsley. Once thickened, add the fresh parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add the pasta and reserved pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and ½ cup reserved pasta water. Mix together to combine and add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce to your preference.
Tips and tricks
To get this mascarpone pasta sauce just right, follow the below tips and tricks:
- Salt your pasta water! You want it to be nearly as salty as the sea. This helps flavor your pasta.
- Use room temperature mascarpone cheese – this will help make sure it mixes into the sauce seamlessly instead of in chunks.
- How to clean mushrooms: Do NOT rinse off mushrooms. They will absorb the liquid. To clean mushrooms you want to very lightly dampen a paper towel and gently brush off any dirt that's on their surface.
- Salt at the end. Because in this recipe we're adding two kinds of cheeses and when mushrooms are sautéd they'll absorb and concentrate any flavor that is on them (as they shrink up), you'll want to salt the recipe at the end to make sure that you're not over salting as ingredients continue to be added.
- Do not rinse your pasta – this will remove the starch from them which aids in bringing the sauce together.
- Switch up the type of pasta! As mentioned above I love a long noodle for this recipe to slurp up the sauce such as tagliatelle that I use or pappardelle, but you could really use just about any kind of pasta. Rigatoni would be great, and so would even tortellini or ravioli.
- Use any kind of mushroom! I really like baby bella for this mushroom sauce for the reason I listed above, but you can add really any kind of mushroom and this dish will still be delicious. Shiitake, oyster, porcini, chanterelles, morels, they'll all be good. Or use a little of them all!
- You can even use dried mushrooms, just rehydrate them before you sauté - learn how to do that here.
- Add veggies: Throw in some fresh spinach or arugula, or even zucchini, peas, string beans, etc.
- Add meat: Chicken or shrimp would be a great addition. And make it simple by shredding up a rotisserie chicken and adding it right in!
- Crisp up some prosciutto in the oven and crumble it on top right before serving!
- Make it spicy: Add some red pepper flakes or Calabrian chili paste to add a bit of a kick.
- Swap the herbs: Instead of parsley you could use chives, thyme, or rosemary.
What to serve with this recipe
This creamy mushroom pasta sauce is very decadent and pairs well with a simple arugula salad (arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, shaved parmesan cheese) and toasty garlic bread.
It's a very silky and rich cheese that originated in Italy. It's typically made with heavy cream and citric or tartaric acid. It has a consistency every so slightly thinner than cream cheese, but thicker than creme fraiche. However, it has a higher milk fat content compared to cream cheese. It's incredibly versatile and often used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Read more on it here.
In an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
For the stovetop reheat over low heat and add some additional heavy cream as needed to loosen the sauce.
For the microwave heat for 1 minute on high heat, stir, and heat again in 30 second increments until heated through.
Ricotta cheese would be my first choice for substitution, otherwise a full fat cream cheese also would work.
Not necessarily. If they are particularly tough or woodsy, you definitely can, otherwise you don't need to.
The sauce is naturally gluten free, so you just need to swap in a gluten free pasta variety and you're all set!
You can chop all the ingredients in advance, but I'd recommend making the sauce and cooking the pasta right before you want to serve.
More vegetarian pasta recipes
Creamy Mushroom Mascarpone Pasta
- 8 oz tagliatelle pasta
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz baby bella/cremini mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup mascarpone cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Meanwhile, warm a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is warmed through, add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5-10 minutes until deep and rich in color.
- Add the garlic to the skillet with the sautéd mushrooms. Sauté for 2 minutes until very fragrant.
- To the same skillet add the heavy cream and mascarpone cheese. Stir gently until homogeneous and silky.
- Stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese until combined and let it all simmer together until slightly thickened and it coats the back of a spoon, 3 minutes.
- Once thickened, add the fresh parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and ½ cup reserved pasta water. Mix together to combine and add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce to your preference.