Cook the Book: Penne with Mascarpone

[Photographs: David Loftus]

The recipes in At Elizabeth David's Table make it very clear that David was writing for an audience who possessed a sense of comfort in the kitchen. She doesn't hold her readers' hands through each step of the dish. By assuming this level of skill in her readers, David was able to share simpler dishes such as this four-ingredient Penne with Mascarpone.

With a basic understanding of perfectly al dente pasta and the right sauce consistency, this dead simple and insanely delicious penne dressed with creamy mild mascarpone, butter, and a sprinkling of Parmesan and walnuts is the kind of ten-minute meal that all of us should keep in our back pockets. It's rich, creamy, and comforting (in the same way mac and cheese is) yet elegant and exotic enough to serve to a discerning group of dinner guests.

If this white-on-white plate is a little plain for your tastes, add a light shower of nutmeg or even a few leaves of chopped thyme or sage.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of At Elizabeth David's Table to give away this week.

Adapted from At Elizabeth David's Table by Elizabeth David. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ecco. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Cook the Book: Penne with Mascarpone

About This Recipe

Yield:4 to 6


  • 1 pound penne
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. 1

    The sauce is prepared as follows: In a saucepan you can serve from, melt a lump of butter and the mascarpone. It must just gently heat, not boil. Into this mixture put your cooked and drained pasta Turn it round and round, adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan. Add a dozen or so shelled and roughly chopped walnuts. Serve more grated
    cheese separately.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: