DonQui’s previous broad bean risotto recipe requires a dollop of mascarpone — a deliciously decadent Italian mild, creamy cheese. It is an essential ingredient as without it the risotto will not have the same deep, rich, creamy taste.
This leaves a small problem — what to do with the left over mascarpone? The smallest container of mascarpone DonQui could find was 250g and yet he only needed a couple of tablespoons for his risotto.
He has several ideas. Mascarpone is great in deserts and is a key ingredient for tiramisu. This is a dish DonQui has not yet attempted. Mascarpone is also excellent accompaniment to summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries in place of cream. But don’t get excited that it might be a low calorie alternative to cream as the fat content is similar to clotted cream and more than whipping cream.
Pasta is another option and this is what DonQui goes for. He cooks up some wide egg noodles. When done he drains them, puts them back into the pot, adds a splash of white wine and then stirs in all his left-over mascarpone along with some salt, pepper, grated parmesan cheese and a handful of chopped roasted hazelnuts.
He serves this with grilled asparagus on top with some fresh sprigs of thyme and an extra sprinkling of hazelnuts and parmesan cheese. Simple in the extreme this dish is absolutely delicious — as good or better than the broad bean risotto.
DonQui could have used something other than asparagus — perhaps sprouting broccoli or even french beans. As it is still in season and is also grown locally, asparagus is what DonQui goes for.
He grills the asparagus rather than boiling or steaming it. He finds it tastes so much better this way — simply sprinkled with olive oil and put under the grill for roughly 3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. He has more to say on asparagus in a previous blog post.
DonQui adapted this recipe from Epicurious’ 20 Ways to Use Mascarpone where one will find other ideas.