This pasta with tomato cream sauce is one of those “keeper” recipes that everyone should have in their cooking arsenal. It’s a recipe you can make for a night in, a romantic dinner for your special somebody, or for a table of guests that you’d like to impress.
Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
The tomato cream sauce, or sauce tomate à la crème, is rich and luxurious. It makes this pasta taste like it’s come straight out of a professional chef’s kitchen.
The reason why this pasta with tomato cream sauce tastes so good has a lot to do with the tomato part of the recipe. Specifically, it’s all about the type of tomatoes used and the cooking process of the tomatoes.
For this recipe, you’ll need San Marzano tomatoes, which are a famous variety of plum tomatoes from Italy. San Marzano tomatoes are sweet and low in acidity, and they’ve got fabulous flavor. They’re canned whole, peeled, and ready to be used with minimal effort.
To give this pasta with tomato cream sauce complex flavor, the tomatoes are roasted for an hour and 15 minutes before being puréed into a tomato sauce. A pinch of dried oregano also enhances and compliments the roasted tomato flavor, and gives the pasta its aromatic quality.
Because no French dish is complete without a dose of indulgence, heavy cream is poured into the sauce near the end to give this pasta with tomato cream sauce its silky finish. This recipe is definitely one for the recipe index!
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, rubbed between your palms to release flavor
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 (28 oz each) cans whole, peeled tomatoes, San Marzano suggested
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 lb penne pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- basil, for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Pour in the vodka and cook for approximately 8 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to at least half of what it was. Add the tomatoes, crushing them in your hands before dropping them in. Add the salt and freshly ground pepper, then give everything a big stir.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven (or pot) and transfer it to the oven. Roast the tomato mixture for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once done roasting, either transfer the roasted tomato mixture to a food processor to purée or use an immersion blender to purée straight in the pot. (If using a food processor, transfer the purée back into the pot after it's been processed.)
- Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions, adding salt (about 1 tbsp) to the pot of pasta water. While the pasta cooks, get back to your tomato sauce.
- Pour the heavy cream into the tomato purée and cook to the sauce over the stove on medium-low heat. Once it begins to slightly simmer, stir in the grated parmesan cheese.
- Drain the cooked pasta and dump the pasta into the pot of pasta sauce. Stir until all the pasta is coated in the sauce. Serve the pasta hot with freshly grated parmesan and basil on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336
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