This creamy tomato pasta is easy to make in only about 20 minutes, a more indulgent version of pasta with tomato sauce.
- 12 ounces (340 g) pasta, any shape (recommendation: tagliatelle)
- 1 cup (156 g) finely chopped onion (from about 1 small onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste, plus more to salt pasta water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons (50 g) tomato paste
- 1 cup (237 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (14 g) finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 5 - 6 fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Set a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When the water begins to boil, add a large pinch of salt and the pasta to the water. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. While waiting for the water to boil, and while the pasta cooks, proceed with the following steps (see note 1 re: timing for the pasta).
- Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onion, kosher salt and black pepper. Cook the onion for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened.
- Add the minced garlic to the pan with the onion. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste to the sauté pan; stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds - 1 minute, just long enough for the tomato paste to full incorporate into the onions and garlic.
- Pour the tomato sauce and heavy cream into the sauté pan, stir to combine. Turn the heat up to bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer the sauce for 6 - 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. If needed, turn the heat back down to maintain the simmer. Taste the sauce and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it well. Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan with the finished sauce. Use tongs to toss the pasta together with the sauce.
- Add the finely shredded Parmesan cheese and gently toss the pasta with the tongs again to incorporate the cheese.
- If desired, tear the fresh basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle over the pasta. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese (optional).
To finish the pasta and sauce around the same time, check how long your pasta needs to cook and time accordingly; for pastas that take about 8 minutes, starting it around when you add the tomato sauce and heavy cream to the pan works well for me. If needed, you can always start the pasta cooking a little later in the process, since the sauce will keep well on the stove on the lowest heat setting while the pasta finishes cooking (just stir the sauce occasionally).
A sauté pan has a wide, flat bottom and straight sides that are about 3 - 5 inches tall. This pan is a good option for this recipe because it contains the sauce well and gives enough room to easily mix in the cooked pasta with the sauce at the end. If you don't have a sauté pan, you can use a large saucepan.
Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, add a little less than the ½ teaspoon called for, taste the finished sauce, and add more if desired.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
- Calories: 483
- Sugar: 8.3 g
- Sodium: 438 mg
- Fat: 17.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 72.7 g
- Fiber: 5.1 g
- Protein: 14 g
- Cholesterol: 44 mg
Keywords: creamy tomato pasta, creamy pasta