Cream Cheese Adds A Hearty Richness To Basic Tomato Sauce

Rigatoni in creamy red sauce
Rigatoni in creamy red sauce - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

There's no better comfort meal than a plate of warm, creamy pasta. The rich and luscious recipe is made with heavy cream and tomato paste, whisked together in a pan to create a decadent sauce for the pasta of your choosing. The sweetness from the cream and acidic tomato balance the other out, creating a creamy, cozy meal that never gets old.

If you're looking for a tangier, but equally as creamy, take on creamy pasta, add cream cheese to tomato sauce. Cream cheese is more acidic than heavy cream, giving your pasta sauce a slightly sharper taste than if you were to use heavy whipping cream. However, you don't need to worry about the sauce being too sour -- tomato sauce has added sugar, so the sweetness will counteract the extra acid. Plus, this take on creamy pasta doesn't require you to brown tomato paste; instead, you can add the cream cheese to the tomato sauce as it simmers. Read ahead to see how to make this rich pasta sauce with cream cheese.

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How To Make Creamy Pasta With Cream Cheese

Penne pasta with parsley and parmesan
Penne pasta with parsley and parmesan - Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock

With your pasta boiling, add butter or olive oil, minced onions and garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to a different pot. Stir occasionally for around two or three minutes and pour in your tomato sauce. Reduce the heat and add in the cream cheese and shredded parmesan or mozzarella.

Once the pasta is al dente, strain it and leave some pasta water in a cup. The cream in the cheese may cause the tomato sauce to curdle, so pour in a little reserved water when the sauce starts to get too thick. Add the pasta into the sauce after a few minutes and stir, coating all the noodles evenly. When the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce, remove and garnish with basil, parsley, and some extra red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. Serve this comforting, creamy dish with homemade garlic bread and classic creamed spinach.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.