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White plate with rigatoni pasta in a glossy creamy tomato pasta sauce. Grated parmesan cheese on top and a fork resting into pasta.

Easy and Delicious Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce

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5 from 47 reviews


Made with simple ingredients, this luscious and glossy creamy tomato sauce is perfect for busy weeknights or equally to impress friends and family. A creamy parmesan packed sauce with a tomato paste base and a squeeze of lemon for the perfect finishing touch.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 30 grams butter (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped, see notes
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 70 grams tomato paste (1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 40 grams parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 200 grams dried pasta or 300 grams fresh


  1. Get a pot of heavily salted water boiling for your pasta and cook pasta, timing it to add straight into the sauce at the end. (see note below) If you drain the pasta before sauce is ready make sure to reserve a mug of the pasta water first.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a big frying pan over medium - high heat and add onions.
  3. When sizzling, lower the heat to medium - low and cook for 4 - 5 minutes until soft.
  4. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for a further minute or two. Nothing should be browning so turn the heat to low if you need.
  5. Add the tomato paste and whisk to combine, cooking for a minute or two.
  6. With the heat still low - medium add the cream and whisk to combine evenly. The cream should only ever be at a VERY gentle simmer so adjust heat to low if you need.
  7. Add the lemon juice and whisk in quickly.
  8. Add the finely grated parmesan in three seperate lots, whisking in between to make sure it has melted.
  9. Add your pasta straight into the sauce with a splash of pasta water (about 1/4 cup). Let the pasta bubble away in the sauce gently for a minute or two to thicken the sauce. Loosen with more pasta water if you need to.
  10. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
  11. Serve and enjoy. I love to add some extra parmesan and black pepper plus some fresh basil leaves never go astray.
  12. Check out video below to see it come together.


  • Onion - If you live in the USA you might not be aware your onions are HUGE! My half onion was about 70 grams.
  • Timing of cooking the pasta is something you will get used to the more you make the recipe. If your dried pasta is going to take 11 - 12 minutes to boil then start the sauce about 3 - 4 minutes into the pasta cooking.
  • Pasta water is a pasta sauce's best friend, this one only needs a splash but make sure you always reserve some before draining. That is why I add my pasta straight from the pot into the sauce, no draining, so there is a full pot of pasta water sitting there.
  • I try to make my pasta sauces quite 'saucy' so you might think you have far too much sauce but as it sits the pasta will soak it up quickly. By the time you spoon it into bowls and get it to the table you'll see a lot has been reduced. I would always rather have too much than too little!
  • Serve it with my easy iceberg wedge salad!
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired