Barilotti with Sausage, Mushrooms and Mascarpone (aka Adult Hamburger Helper)

We’ve been eating this for years, throwing it together anytime we have ground Italian sausage, mushrooms and mascarpone cheese (which we usually do).  This is one of those last-minute, not-for-company-but-good-enough-for-us meals that I like and my husband and kids love.

Don’t be fooled.  Using an unusual pasta shape and fancy Italian cheese doesn’t change the truth.  This is basically Hamburger Helper.

Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and Mascarpone

1 lb pasta

1 lb ground Italian sausage

1 lb mushrooms (I use baby Portobello), sliced

1 8-oz tub Mascarpone cheese

Brown sausage in large skillet until no pink remains, about 8-10 minutes.  Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are browned and reduced.  Meanwhile, cook and drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.  Add pasta, mascarpone and pasta water to skillet with sausage and mushrooms.  Combine until cheese is melted and heated through and sauce is thick.

If you feel at all guilty about have such pedestrian pleasures, like Hamburger Helper, add this at the table:

This is Kate Middleton’s favorite thing to add to finished dishes at the table.  Okay, I don’t know that for sure, but in my fantasy where she comes over for dinner, this is on the table.

– Catherine

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