This creamy tomato pasta sauce is so easy and delicious and comes together really quickly. A luscious and glossy sauce flavoured with onion, garlic, white wine, tomato paste, cream and parmesan. This will hopefully become a new go to sauce for an easy weeknight dinner or to impress friends and family.
Hello! I am writing up this recipe is which miiiiight be one my my favourites ever. It is probably the sauce I make the most at home as it just hits the spot every time! People either love a tomato or a creamy sauce more right? I am in the creamy/butter camp and my husband Dave is tomato all the way so this brings our two worlds together!
Any pasta shape will work for this, I have used my homemade orecchiette but it also works perfectly with my hand rolled pici. Any shape will work so feel free to use anything, dried pasta included. If you want another type of tomato sauce check out my roast tomato pasta sauce.
How to make this sauce
- Like any good sauce this starts with onions and garlic in olive oil. You want to cook them low and slow for a good 7 - 8 minutes until soft. I also add chopped anchovies which are optional but they add such great flavour so please don't skip!
- White wine is added then reduced before adding the tomato paste.
- Next the cream goes in and whisked to combine all the tomato paste in evenly. The heat shouldn't be too hot, just a very gentle simmer.
- Add in the finely grated parmesan in a few lots, letting it melt into the cream in between each addition.
- When you add your pasta in make sure a splash of pasta water goes in too. It will seem like a lot of sauce, but pasta soaks up creamy sauces so quickly. You'll notice by the time you serve it at the table the sauce will have reduced.
- A big squeeze of lemon juice is my favourite way to finish any sauce, it brightens all the flavours and cuts through the richness.
Tips for success:
- Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This sauce comes together pretty quick so I like to have all my ingredients neatly prepared and my bench cleared down.
- You'll get used to the timings when you have made it a few times. if using dried pasta add it to the boiling water when cooking the onions. If using fresh, which will only take a couple of minutes just add it when the sauce is almost done.
- Don't have your heat too hot when cooking the onions, you don't want any colour on them. Low and slow!
- Lower the heat before adding the cream, you want a nice gentle bubble, it shoudl not be boiling.
- I like to use a flat whisk to make sure the cream is getting incorporated really well.
- Add pasta water if you need to thin the sauce down at all.
- Heat your plates! This is such a simple trick but vital for pasta. Pasta can get cold really quickly so I always heat my plates. I usually stack up my bowls or plates in my oven on a low temp while I am cooking.
- Add your cooked pasta straight into the sauce, I like to let my pasta very gently bubble away in the sauce for a min or two. You can undercook your pasta slightly for this reason.
Why pasta water is your best friend!
You'll hear me harp on about the magic that is pasta water in 99% of my recipes. It really is a key ingredient in every sauce I make. The starch left behind in the water acts as a thickening agent and helps sauces cling to the pasta. I couldn't make a sauce without it. I never EVER drain my pasta in a colander, I always transfer it directly to the sauce using a spider strainer. That way the pasta pot full of water is left there for you to ladle in as you need.
If you have seen my reels on instagram you'll notice my sauces are SAUCY. Pasta soaks up liquid so quickly so I add enough pasta water to make it quite liquidy. By the time I serve into bowls and take to the table it hasn't dried up. You'll get to know what the right consistency is with some practice, you can't go wrong though I promise!
What pasta shape should I use?
I don't like rules OK? Use whatever you like!! This sauce will literally go with any shape fresh or dried. Feel like making some pasta? You're in the right place. Use my easy homemade pasta dough to make some homemade pappardelle. It is the easiest shape to make and SO good with a luscious sauce like this one.
If you know me at all, you know I love a hand rolled shape, orecchiette being my one true love. Check out my semolina pasta dough to make it or hand rolled gnocchi sardi, a really great beginner shape.
I always like to add something to the top of my pastas and there are so many options! You could do some crispy sage like in the photo above or another idea for crunch is the panko topping in my nduja mac and cheese recipe. Some torn buratta, and fresh basil is a wonderful fresh option. I like to finish most plates with a little drizzle of olive oil.
Want to take this sauce up a notch?
I recently used this sauce as a base and added some broken up pork and fennel sausage into it. The resulting creamy tomato and sausage pasta is like a cheats ragu as it is so flavoursome but really quick. Sausage adds such a dreamy savoury kick to the sauce and you absolutely HAVE to try it!
Creamy tomato pasta sauce FAQs
This is all about personal preference. For big eaters (I include myself in that!) around 100g - 120g of dried pasta or 150g of fresh is about what I aim for per person.
I usually opt for a simple and fresh salad. It's a rich meal so something crisp and fresh cuts through it perfectly. For something really easy just serve some wedges of iceberg lettuce on a platter, drizzle with a nice olive oil and sprinkle with finely grated parmesan.
Creams are all called slightly different things in different countries. Here in New Zealand, for cooking I use single cream. In America that is light cream. 18% - 30% fat. Anything heavier will be too thick. You can obviously thin down the consistency with pasta water though.
The most common reason for this is your temperature being too high. You just want a really gentle simmer. Lower heat is best for control. When you add the cream in, give it a really good whisk to emulsify. Add the parm in a few lots, letting it gently melt in between each addition.
Made this pasta sauce and loved it?
I would love it so much if you could leave me a review below! Also, if you take a photo make sure you tag me on instagram so I can see it!Print