Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta
This tomato cream sauce pasta is so easy to make, but you’d never know it from the nuanced flavor profile! It’s the perfect meal when you want something that tastes elegant, but still comes together quickly. That means it’s a great weeknight meal, or to serve on a fancier occasion. No one will know it took you less than 30 minutes to prepare!
If you follow my recipes even a little bit, you are probably already aware that I am a huge fan of homemade sauces, especially pasta sauces! There are very few pasta sauces worth buying from a can or a jar when it’s really so easy to make your own! This tomato cream sauce is case in point.
This sauce tastes so decadent, but I developed it to be vegan! I prefer to use almond milk, or coconut milk if you want a really rich and creamy sauce with a hint of sweetness. YUM. That being said, feel free to use whatever milk you have on hand—almond, soy, coconut, cow milk, anything will be delicious! Just stick with something plain (aka: don’t use vanilla flavored almond milk.) This sauce is also gluten free, so make this a gluten free meal simply by using gluten free pasta.
Another thing I love about this sauce: it doubles as a pizza sauce! YES, I have enjoyed some fantastic pizzas with this sauce. I’ll share some of my quick pizza ideas with this and other sauces in future posts, but I’ll tell you now that whenever I make this tomato cream sauce pasta, I set aside a little sauce to use the next day, and I make myself a flatbread pizza for lunch. Or I go super ritzy and make a puff pastry pizza with this delicious sauce. (I promise I’ll share that simple recipe soon! It’s SO good.)
This tomato cream sauce recipe calls for tomato paste. Which, if you’re like me, means that you’re already bummed about buying that little can of tomato paste at the grocery store, only to use a few tablespoons of it, and have the rest go bad in your fridge as you try to figure out an effective way to store the stuff or use it. (Does that sound familiar, or is it just me who experiences this??!!)
Well, either way, I have the solution! TUBED tomato paste. Have you tried it before?! It’s AMAZING. [aff. link] Tubed tomato paste will change your life!! Or at least the way you feel about tomato paste.
This handy tube is a nice size, and so incredibly easy to store. Just use the amount of tomato paste your recipe calls for, and put the rest of the tube back in the fridge until next time. No need to waste any tomato paste anymore!!!! I really cannot tell you what a miracle product this tubed tomato paste has been for me. Here is my favorite brand. [aff. link] I love buying this two pack on Amazon. And you don’t need to refrigerate it until you’ve opened the tube. Super convenient. Seriously, I can’t recommend this stuff enough!
So now that your tomato paste worries are solved, make this tomato cream sauce pasta. Or pizza. I’m sure however you decide to use this sauce will be utterly delicious!
Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta
For the veggies:
- 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, diced or smashed (literally, just smash that clove with your knife!)
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1 pound pasta
- ½ cup cashew pieces
- ½ cup coconut milk or milk of choice
- ½ cup water
- Parmesan, for sprinkling (omit to keep vegan)
Cook the veggies
- Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, 1 tsp sea salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Now add the tomatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and brown sugar
- Now add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. The tomatoes with get soft and break down. Turn off the heat.
Start making the pasta
- Now is a good time to start making your pasta if you're up for multi-tasking!
Food processor time!
- To your food processor, add the cashew pieces. Now very carefully pour or spoon the tomato mixture into your food processor. Process the tomato mixture with the cashew pieces until mostly smooth.
- Now add the ½ cup milk of your choice, and process until smooth, about 1-3 minutes depending on your machine. There will still be a little texture and that is great!
Finish the sauce
- Transfer the mixture back to your skillet, and turn the heat to low. Add the water and remaining ½ tsp sea salt, and stir while cooking until the water has incorporated, about 3 minutes. The sauce will begin to simmer a bit too. Sauce is done!
Bring it all together
- Once your pasta is done cooking, drain the pasta, and put it back in the pot you cooked it in. (Save a dish!) Add about ½ of the tomato cream sauce to the pasta, and gently fold it into the pasta. Now fold in the remaining parsley and some freshly ground Parmesan (unless keeping the dish vegan).
- At this point, I also like to sprinkle in a little fleur de sel or sea salt, to taste. Just sprinkle a little, stir, and taste. Repeat as desired!
- Spoon a little more sauce over each serving of pasta if desired, and garnish each plate with extra parsley and/or Parmesan. My family loves this dish with a side of arugula and the breaded Gardein strips. Enjoy!
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