I could eat pasta every day. I don’t, but I could. I love just a nice red sauce, or a meat sauce, or an alfredo sauce. But, today I wanted something different. I wanted both tomato and creamy. I could have used some heavy cream, as I do always have it on hand – but, instead, I remembered that I had some cream cheese in the refrigerator and I decided to use that.
I’ve never used cream cheese in a pasta sauce, before. But, I thought that it could work. Turns out that it worked really well – and everyone loved it! It gives the sauce creaminess and an extra layer of flavor.
The first thing to do is make the sauce. I kept it pretty simple – just crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, fresh basil and some Italian seasoning.
I started by dicing one onion. I tried to dice it pretty small – I didn’t really want big bites of onion in the sauce. I also chopped up about 10 basil leaves (about 1 tbsp, when chopped).
In a large skillet, I softened the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil.
Once the onions were softened, I added in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. I also added in the Italian seasoning.
I brought the tomato sauce to a boil and then added in the cream cheese. It takes a bit of stirring to get the cheese melted into the sauce.
Once the cheese was melted, I added in the basil and stirred through.
I let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, to allow it to reduce some.
I cooked my pasta to al dente and then added it to the sauce and mixed it well.
The pasta is delicious on it’s own, but I also cooked some chicken in the oven – and I topped the pasta with it, just to add some protein to the dish. You can garnish with extra basil, if you like.
Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce
8 oz block of cream cheese
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
10-12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
- Dice onion and chop the basil
- In oil, soften onion and garlic (about 5 min)
- Add in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Add in salt and Italian seasoning
- Bring sauce to a boil
- Add in the cream cheese, stirring until it melts
- Add in basil
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes
- While sauce is simmering, cook pasta to al dente
- When pasta and sauce are done, toss the pasta in the skillet with the sauce
- Top with chicken, if desired
- Add more fresh basil, if desired