My father-in-law makes an amazing tomato cream pasta dish - it is dear to my heart...and my stomach. In high school, it was just about the only meal that I requested from him, despite the fact that he is an excellent cook. I imagine he probably got sick of my constant demand, so I learned to make my own approximation. My version is a creamy sun dried tomato pasta. It may not be exactly his recipe but it is excellent.
This sun dried tomato pasta is like a warm hug for your soul. It is the perfect blend of creamy, acidic, and zesty. Besides, it is an excellent excuse for carbo loading, which you might need even if there is no marathon in your future.
This pasta starts out strong in the flavor department. Onions slowly sauté in a blend of red pepper flakes, salt, and oil. A "healthy" helping of garlic and sun-dried tomato soon join the party. You can choose to skimp on the garlic. It is ok, I am not mad, I am just disappointed.
At this point, your home is going to smell amazing. Then to top it off, in goes the sherry, the tomatoes, and finally, the true hero of this and so many other dishes - cream. Everything in this pan is having a good time - mingling, melding, and simmering their way to perfection.
Now, do not forget to invite a creamy pasta's favorite companion - Crusty French Bread. Serve it plain, buttered, or make it into a beautiful loaf of garlic bread.
The great news about this recipe, aside from all of the aforementioned, is that it makes enough for two boxes of pasta. This means that you get to do the work once, for twice the reward. Now, sit back with your comforting bowl of creamy sun dried tomato heaven and remind yourself that you are great at hacking this life stuff.
Spicy Tomato Cream Special Pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic you can use less, if you have to
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes cut in thin strips
- ¼ cup sherry
- 28 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes depending on your texture preference
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes depending on your tolerance for heat
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil chiffonade or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tsp + salt
- 16 oz Penne or your favorite short pasta
- Parmesan to sprinkle on top
- Cook pasta according to box directions
- Meanwhile, heat oil, over medium, in a large pan
- Add red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and onion to the pan
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes
- Stir in sundried tomatoes and cook for an additional minute
- Add garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds
- Turn burner up to medium-high
- Pour sherry in to deglaze the pan, scraping any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan
- Cook for about another minute, until little liquid remains
- Pour in the crushed or diced tomatoes, deglazing the pan again
- Bring the tomatoes to a simmer, then turn heat to low
- Partially cover the pan for 25 minutes, stirring every once in a while
- Pour cream into the pan and stir until fully mixed in
- Continue to cook over low for 10 minutes
- Remove the pan from the heat source and add in basil and ½ teaspoon salt
- Taste and adjust seasoning
- Mix about half of the sauce with the pasta
- Serve with extra sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan
- Freeze extra sauce for a second round