Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta is a dish made with noodles that are cooked and nestled in a creamy roasted tomato sauce with garlic. Try my Copycat Carbone’s Spicy Pasta for another pasta dish with a creamy tomato sauce.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta
This creamy roasted tomato pasta is an easy dish to make and to modify by adding more vegetables or protein to the mix. (It would be delicious with added chicken, shrimp, or sausage.) It starts with al dente pasta. Then, a creamy roasted tomato sauce is made with cherry tomatoes. Red pepper flakes give the pasta dish a little kick.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta Ingredients
Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes in this recipe. You could also use whole tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces.
Garlic: Minced garlic is best. Or, dice the cloves of garlic into very small pieces. If you want to roast the garlic beforehand, I explain how to do that in this Roasted Garlic Grilled Cheese recipe. If you do roast the garlic separately, you will add it when you add the cooked pasta noodles.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: The red pepper flakes give the pasta dish a little kick. But, you can definitely leave them out if preferred.
Heavy Cream: Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, is a liquid that consists of 36%-40% fat.
Pasta: You can use whatever pasta noodles you have on hand. However, it’s best to use pasta with curves and grooves; these noodles hold the sauce better. You can also make your own homemade pasta to use! Be sure to reserve about a cup of pasta water after you drain the noodles. I will explain that later.
How to Make Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta
To get started making this delicious creamy roasted tomato pasta dish, cook the noodles al dente per package directions. Be sure to reserve a cup of pasta water to add to the dish later. Drain and rinse the noodles and set them aside as you prepare the sauce.
To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it softens. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
Next, add the cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Cook until the tomatoes start to blister, stirring frequently. This takes 8-10 minutes.
Pour the tomato mixture into a blender and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Then, pour it back into the skillet and add the heavy cream, parmesan, and cooked noodles. Stir to combine. Here is where the reserved pasta water comes in. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency of the sauce. (There is no need to add any pasta water if you are okay with the thickness of the dish.)
Why Reserve Pasta Water?
There are a few pasta recipes I have that recommend reserving pasta water for the sauce (Vodka Sauce and Spicy Gnocchi Bread Bowl). But, is it important? Yes! The pasta water is added to the sauce and cooked noodles. The starch from the pasta water also helps bind the sauce and pasta together rather than simply coating the noodles. This gives you a full-flavored taste in every bite!
Can I Make this Without a Blender?
Yes! If you don’t have a blender (or just can’t find it), you can still make the sauce. You could use an immersion blender to puree the tomatoes instead. However, if you use an immersion blender, be sure to cook the sauce in a deep pot, as opposed to a skillet.
Looking for More Pasta Dishes?
Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta
Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta is a dish made with noodles that are cooked and nestled in a creamy roasted tomato sauce with garlic.
- 16 ounces cavatappi noodles, cooked al dente, reserving a cup of pasta water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup pasta water, reserved from cooked pasta
- parsley, for garnish
To get started, you need to make the pasta. Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add the pasta noodles, and cook them al dente, according to the package instructions.
Be sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooked pasta water before you drain and rinse the noodles. Set the cooked noodles and pasta water aside until you add them to the sauce.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion and cook until softened (about 5-6 minutes).
Add garlic and cook one more minute.
Add cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper and cook until the tomatoes start to blister, stirring frequently (8-10 minutes).
Carefully pour tomato mixture into a blender* and pulse until smooth.
Pour back into the skillet and add heavy cream, parmesan, and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add one tablespoon of the reserved pasta water at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Top with fresh parmesan and parsley for garnish. Serve.
Always be careful when adding hot ingredients to a blender. I like to place the blender in the sink and then add the ingredients. Place cover on but remove the center portion so that steam can escape. Fold a towel over several times and place that on top of the lid so that there is no splatter and you don't risk burning yourself. Blend until smooth, then carefully pour the sauce back into your skillet.