9.04.2010

creamy tomato pasta

finally!

so many tomatoes i don't know what to do with them all!



i've waited patiently all summer. watched the two tomato plants my grandpa gave me grow taller and taller until they overtook their cage and filled with so many tomatoes i was almost afraid they would all come at once.

which they did. at least some of them did. i still have a couple dozen green ones i've been watching like a hawk, waiting for the tinge of orange so i can figure out which one of the million "best tomato _____ ever!" recipe i want to make next.

i wanted sauce and pasta. but i had just slaved over this one and was in the mood for something different.

the perfect combination: tomatoes and cream and cheese. it was even better than i expected.



toss together a quick tomato sauce. i used fresh tomatoes and i'm sure you could use jarred pasta sauce instead. but i'm warning you - it takes about five minutes to make it from scratch and the flavor is well worth it.

while it's cooking down, make an alfredo sauce. in this case, cook's illustrated's light alfredo sauce (which is really great on its own, but you might want to toss in another crushed garlic glove or two). when the sauces are done, toss them with pasta.

guaranteed you'll fight over who gets seconds, just like we did.

creamy tomato pasta
alfredo sauce adapted from cook's illustrated
30 minutes, serves 4

for the tomato sauce -
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 9 medium)
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
olive oil

for the alfredo sauce -
(if you want to lighten it up, halve the alfredo and keep the tomato sauce the same)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half & half
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 pound farfalle or other short cut pasta
  1. bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. start the tomato sauce. bring a large pot of water to boil. score the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch in the boiling water for about a minute, cool and peel. discard skins. roughly chop tomatoes and set aside.
  3. in a small saucepan, sweat the minced onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  4. add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic. if you want a thin sauce like mine, blend the sauce with an immersion blender. cook about 15 minutes until thickened.
  5. while the tomato sauce thickens, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
  6. while the pasta and tomato sauce are cooking, make the alfredo sauce. melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. whisk in the flour until smooth and cook about 2 minutes, until brown.
  7. whisk in the milk, half & half, and garlic and season with salt & pepper. continuously whisking, bring to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes until thickened. fish out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
  8. whisk in the parmesan. the sauce will be very thick, so add 1/3 cup of the hot pasta cooking water to the alfredo sauce to thin it out a bit. remove from heat.
  9. drain the pasta and add to the alfredo sauce.
  10. mix the basil into the tomato sauce and add the tomato sauce to the pasta. mix well.

58 comments:

  1. Yum, yum, and YUM. Homemade alfredo sauce is one of my favorites, and I absolutely love creamy tomato sauces, so I'm pretty sure that this is in my near future. And with fresh tomatoes, I bet it's even more delicious.

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  2. I just made this the other day! I will admit I used Alfredo sauce from a jar for convenience... it was AMAZING!!! I will definitely be making this again and again! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

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  3. Made this following your recipe exactly tonight! It was perfect! Thanks!

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  4. I made this tonight, so wonderful, the whole family loved it. Even my son who hates tomatoes! Thanks!

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  5. I'm making the tomato sauce right now, and it was much faster and easier than I thought! Its sitting on low for another hour until its time for dinner! It smells absolutely amazing, and I'm sure it will taste that way too. Thank you!!

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  6. I'm not a huge tomato fan but this was really good. We also added Italian sausage (taken out of the casing) to give it some protein. Yummy!

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  7. Yum! I love this recipe! Thanks for sharing!
    Please visit us and give us comments :)
    http://mysisterzfantacy.blogspot.hk/

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  8. I rarely ever leave comments or ratings on blogs, but for this, I just had to! This was extremely delicious and sooo easy to make! My 2 picky eater sons (1 and 2 years old) had seconds! That says a lot! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe! I will definitely make it again!

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  9. This recipe looks amazing. I have a couple of pasta salad recipes that I make but I am looking for something new. I wrote about one of them: http://hometownslop.blogspot.com/2012/05/bowtie-pasta-salad.html

    Thanks for sharing. I will make this soon.

    Jeff

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  10. Made this for dinner tonight. Nobody has tried it yet but me, I've got 3 twenty somethings coming for dinner soon, and I know it's going to be a HIT! Thank you!

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  11. Thanks for the recipe, I tried it out today!

    Here's my experience with it:
    http://dontforgetrecipes.blogspot.com/2012/07/creamy-tomato-pasta.html

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  12. The best... Oh my gosh!! absolutely perfect!!

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  13. This looks absolutely amazing. I made a creamy tomato sauce a while back, just with a normal tomato sauce and adding whipping cream to it, but it seems good adding full on alfredo instead with the buttery goodness. And we've got tomatoes and basil from our garden, so pasta is definitely on the list for this week. yum!

    lmld.org

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  14. This looks delicious. Just a quick question, though. The line before that yummy picture says, "the perfect combination: tomatoes and cream and cheese." Is cream cheese one of the ingredients in the recipe? What is the amount and when/where is it added? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. There is not cream cheese in the recipe, but rather both cream and cheese.

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    2. This looks very familiar. We have a wonderful dish at an Italian Restaurant that my husband and I lovel! And it looks very much like this one, except it has chicken added in........ Want to try this!

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  15. Do you think this would be good with ground beef? My hubby is a meat eater while I am okay without it. Lol

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I think ground beef would be really good. I would brown it and add it to the tomato sauce, before combining it with the alfredo. I bet mushrooms would be really good too. Let me know how it turns out.

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    2. This would be AWESOME with crabmeat added!!!!

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  16. This was SO good. I kept all the measurements the same, and changed a few things to make it vegan. We left the Parmesan out completely, used vanilla unsweetened almond milk, and Almond Dream plain yogurt in place of milk and half and half, with soy butter. It took a bit longer to set up than a dairy sauce, but the end result was astonishingly good. Husband was very impressed. Thank you so much!

    -meg.

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  17. This was a really good recipe! I added half Parmesan and half mozzarella instead of just Parmesan. Would definitely make this again!

    I made some without the tomato mixture for my boyfriend who doesn't like tomatoes and he liked it too.

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  18. I just this and it turned out awful :( I followed it exactly! Everyone else loved it so, I'm not sure what Im missing!

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    Replies
    1. I agree--I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out flavorless =( Even with the garlic, onion & parmesan....Wondering what other seasoning could be added...

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    2. Hmm, what a disappointment! there are few things I hate than a disappointing recipe. I suggest adding more garlic and making sure you have good, flavorful tomatoes. I know I can't get a decent one in winter here, so I would use canned ones now instead of fresh. So sorry you didnt like it.

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    3. I think salt would do the trick (in both the tomato sauce and the Alfredo).

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  19. Love this recipe. Great with leftover grilled chicken or shrimp.

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  20. this was really good! i added sauteed kielbasa sausage and red bell peppers, and the sausage was good, but red bell peppers really made the sauce pop!

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  21. Made it last night! It was absolutely delicious, also added quarter scotch bonnette. Will most definitely make it again! Thank you for the recipe!

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  22. do you think I could do just mozerella cheese?

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  23. Replies
    1. Ah, so sorry, I accidentally removed your comment! Never work on your blog via your cell phone. Every time I do, I screw something up!

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  24. Love iT! It's absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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  25. I officially love this recipe! I could eat this every night, if it weren't for the butter, and the half & half, and the parmesan...:)

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  26. This looks amazing, and wanted to make it for dinner tonight, but was wondering what size tomatoes I would use since your pic of tomatoes are cherry ones.

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    Replies
    1. i went ahead and bought some regular tomatoes and it worked out great! I also sauteed some chicken to give it some protein for the hubby, turned out great! Can't wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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    2. hi lori, sorry i didn't get to your comment yesterday. the picture is deceiving, it's actually medium tomatoes, not cherries! that said, i have made this with cherry tomatoes and they work just as well, so the size doesn't really matter.

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  27. I'm wondering if you can skip blanching the tomatoes and just use a food processor to turn it into a sauce quickly. What are your thoughts? Is there a specific purpose to the blanching besides removing skins?

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    Replies
    1. You can totally skip blanching if you dont mind bits of skin in your sauce. You could either put it all in a food processor, or quarter the tomatoea, add them, & use an immersion blender. Whatever works best for you.

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    2. You can use a food mill and depending on the texture you want, use the blade that will accomplish this.

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  28. How many does this recipe serve?

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  29. I made this for dinner tonight and my family loved it! I served it with some chicken breasts and garlic bread.

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  30. If you use canned tomatoes instead, do you use a whole jar? Only part of it?

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    Replies
    1. hi kristen, i haven't tried this with canned tomatoes. but if i was going to, i would try 24 ounces of diced tomatoes with the juice.

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  31. Looks really lovely! But what is meant by 1/4 cup half & half? (I'm German, so excuse me please :-/)

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    Replies
    1. 1/4th of a cup of 'half &half'. 'half and half' is a product found in the dairy isle that pretty much consists of half milk and half cream :)

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  32. Hi, made this tonight. Followed the recipe exactly and the result was superb!.So much better than what you can buy. Thanks for the recipe.

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  33. Excellent! Hubs raved about this on and on! I keep homemade tomato sauce on hand, so only had to make Alfredo and cook the pasta. Less than 30 minutes from stove to the table which equals a WIN in our book! YAY

    Thanks!!!

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  34. Hi,
    Can you make this sauce in advance? If so, how would you recommend reheating?

    Thanks, Kara

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kara,

      I would make the alfredo sauce and the tomato sauce without adding the basil ahead of time. Store them in the refrigerator and warm them up separately on the stove. Add the fresh basil to the tomato sauce right before you serve it. Enjoy!

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  35. I've always got loads of tomatoes left over, so this is a wonderful idea, so quick and easy too!

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  36. I just made this recipe because my daughter had a tomato alfredo sauce at Nordstom Café and loved it. This was DELICIOUS! The only thing I didn't follow to the letter was the adding the noodles to the afredo, etc. I wanted to keep the sauce separate, so I just combined the alfredo with the pasta sauce, stirred it up and poured it over the noodles. That way if someone likes a little or a lot of sauce, they have that choice YUMMY recipe and super easy. Thanks!

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  37. What exactly is half and half?

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    Replies
    1. it's half cream & half milk. in the US it's called "half & half" - not sure what it's called elsewhere. it has 12.5% butterfat.

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  38. Just made this and we loved it. Question though, our tomatoe sauce was very watery! What can I do to prevent that next time?

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    Replies
    1. Mine did the same thing. I just turned up the heat and that got rid of allot of it. And I didn't add the pasta water because of the tomato sauce being thin

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  39. This was a delicious recipe! I've added it to my favorites! I changed a few things- For the meat I added crumbled bacon and slices of pepperoni. My kids call it "pizza pasta". Yum!

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  40. I made this today and the Alfredo portion is amazing. I added some Monterey Jack cheese to it as well and loved it. My only critique is the amount of basil it calls for is far too much. It overpowered the dish and now that is all I can taste. Next time, I will use maybe a tablespoon or two instead of 1/4 of a cup.

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