Mascarpone and Lemon Pasta

Mascarpone lemon pasta

The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
342 Calories
26g Fat
21g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 550mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 142mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The beautiful thing about this quick and easy pasta dish recipe is that it succeeds in tasting both rich and light. How is that possible? The sauce is made with a combination of creamy mascarpone cheese and a lively amount of lemon. The richness comes from the cheese, and the citrus brings brightness to the dish, so it's not too heavy. Mascarpone cheese can be found in the dairy or cheese section of any better grocery store.

If you bought mascarpone cheese for another recipe and have some leftover, look no further. This sauce is a great way to use up extra cheese since it only requires half a cup. Or you can buy a new container and use half for this recipe and the rest to make sweet mascarpone and honey spread. Now you'll have dinner and dessert ready with just a few simple steps.

Note that this recipe is super quick to prepare. The sauce comes together in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. If you will be adding any sautéed vegetables or protein to your version of this dish, be sure to cook those additions ahead of time. Keep your meat or vegetables warm and add them ​to the mascarpone cheese sauce in Step 2.


  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cooking pasta

  • 8 ounces pasta

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup mascarpone

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped herbs, such as parsley, basil, and oregano, for garnish

  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

  • Sea salt, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil to cook the pasta.

  3. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, mascarpone, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.

  4. When the pasta has cooked according to the package instructions, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining the pasta.

  5. Put the drained pasta into a large serving bowl and stir in the mascarpone cheese sauce until it is mostly melted into the noodles. If the pasta seems too dry or the mascarpone too thick, then drizzle in the reserved water as needed and stir to smooth the sauce out.

  6. Garnish the pasta with fresh herbs, black pepper, and sea salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use any type of pasta with this lemon mascarpone pasta sauce.
  • To increase the nutritional value and color of the pasta dish, add vegetables. Frozen peas are a super quick addition, and sautéed greens would be especially good and are an easy way to use up any excess greens taking up room in your refrigerator.
  • If you prefer a protein-based addition, consider adding cooked chicken, shrimp, or prosciutto to the dish. 

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