I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a recipe… like a dinnertime recipe. I’ve missed this you guys!!! I feel like I’ve been in a groove with three kids for what seems like a while now, but I truly have been trying my best to focus on my kids this past (almost) year and because of that, creating recipes for the blog hasn’t been a priority. And you know what… that’s been perfectly fine with me. I will never get this time back with my kids again. I will likely never have the three of them with me all day every day for an entire year ever again (wah!!!), and there will come a time when I’m able to focus on the blog and become more organized with it all. Right now, being a wife and mom is number one. It will always be, but right now, it’s definitely more time consuming than I think it ever will be.
There are two shows inspiring me to cook and get into the kitchen more – Giada and Bobby in Italy (ha!) and The Lost Kitchen. We recently subscribed to Discovery Plus and I’ve been enjoying binging through a bunch of the shows. I got through The Lost Kitchen very quick. I guess I fell in love with Erin’s passion for feeding people and the concept of restaurant. It would be my dream to open up a restaurant like that. Maybe I’ll start my own supper club when the pandemic is over? Would anyone want to come over for dinner??
Speaking of cooking, pasta is one of those dishes that I feel completely comfortable cooking. I feel like I know it really well, can get creative with it, and it reminds me of home and my heritage. A full bowl of pasta just brings me so much happiness and seeing how much my kids enjoy it makes me even giddier. I have pasta often, but it’s even better on a special occasion or holiday.
So, here is my Valentine’s Day pasta! Al dente rigatoni with a creamy vodka sauce made with marscarpone and bits of crispy prosciutto. It is so good, and will make you feel like you’re enjoying a fancy dinner out. Spoiler alert: it will actually be better than that because you can totally enjoy this pasta in sweatpants. If you end up making this, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!
Rigatoni with Mascarpone Vodka Sauce & Crispy Prosciutto
- 6 oz of thinly sliced prosciutto
- Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of grated white onion
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 24 oz jar of pasta sauce
- 1.5 ounces of vodka
- 6 oz of mascarpone cheese
- 1 pound of dried rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Fold each prosciutto slice together (kind of scrunching it together) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake it in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until crisp. Keep your eye on it! They crisp up fast. Let the prosciutto cool slightly, chop it and set aside.
Next, start on the sauce. Set a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Heat the oil for about a minute and add the grated onion. Cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the pasta sauce, stir and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the vodka and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the mascarpone and bring it back to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add in most of the chopped prosciutto (you’ll want to reserve about a slice for each bowl you’ll be serving). Set the sauce on a low simmer until the pasta is cooked.
While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and then add the pasta. Boil the rigatoni according to the time marked al dente on the pasta box. Drain the pasta and add a few spoons of sauce to the bottom of the bowl. Add the pasta to the pot and cover with most of the rest of the sauce (leave some out for topping if you want). Add the parmigiano reggiano and stir to combine.
To serve, place the pasta in bowls and top with the remaining sauce, prosciutto, fresh basil and a nice sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano.