Recently Tre Stelle contacted me and offered to send me $25 in coupons for their cheese, as well as this stunning platter with beautiful tools as a gift! They did not ask for a review, in fact they did not ask for anything at all. As a result, I am going to promote the heck out of them.
I began with their mascarpone cheese. How many times have I heard Giada de Laurentiis talk about this kind of cheese as though it came from the heavens? I wanted to try it but was never sure it was worth spending money on. So my first coupon went to picking up a tub, adding some cream, vanilla paste and icing sugar to it to top off my roasted figs in caramel:
OK, I probably should have added more cream to it, LOL. Still, wow, this was unbelievably delicious! The texture is heavenly. So rich and yet light at the same time, the flavour reminiscent of… butter! I did not dare look at the fat content of this cheese and just devoured my figs. Both Reg and I were thoroughly impressed.
So sweetened mascarpone cheese is heaven, how would it be in a savoury application? I had some leftover spaghetti sauce and wanted to do something creative with it.
I had these humungous pasta shells in my cupboards for a long time and decided it was time to use them up. I cooked them in salted water, drained them well and left them to dry and cool off on parchment paper.
I used around half a cup of mascarpone for the filling as well as half a package of frozen spinach (thawed and water removed), freshly grated Parmesan, old cheddar, crushed garlic, finely minced shallots, fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
I packed as much filling as I could into the shells.
I put the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of two dishes and filled them with the stuffed pastry shells.
I topped with the last of the spaghetti sauce. I made a crumb topping by mixing together panko breadcrumbs, freshly grated Parmesan and around 2 tsp of olive oil.
At first I baked in a low-ish oven (around 325F) for 30 minutes but it did not seem very warm. I turned up the heat for a while and then broiled the top.
We loved this dinner! In fact Reg wants me to make it all the time. So much for making room on my shelves, now I have to go out and get more giant pasta shells! It is worth it though. A great way to use up that leftover spaghetti sauce and the creaminess of the mascarpone goes so perfectly with the spinach which can sometimes be overpowering.
Thank you Tre Stelle! Now I know what everyone is talking about when it comes to the heavenly flavour and texture of mascarpone cheese. It is 100% worth the money and I will be buying it all the time now.
And I am not stopping there! So many cheeses to try and I have another amazing (yet a tad bizarre) treat with mascarpone cheese which I will share tomorrow. I give this product five out of five wooden spoons.