Friday, June 8, 2012

Creamy tomato pasta

Last night I was having one of those nights. The kind of night where I was in a funk. I hate those nights. I was torn between acknowledging my feelings and allowing myself to just feel off for awhile, and also mad at myself for dwelling on problems that are so minor in the grand scheme of life. Like... so minor.

In an attempt to shake my funk, I decided to make some comfort food. You heard me right - I made it. Like, I cooked it myself. Zac didn't even help. Are you impressed?

He was actually at a Cincinnati Reds game with his dad and brother. Him being gone usually goes something like this:

Zac: "Tomorrow I'm going to go to a Reds game with my dad and brother."
Me: "Cool! That will be fun for you guys."
Fast forward 24 hours.
Me: "I am super starving and have no idea what to make for dinner because I never cook."

See what I mean about my minor problems? Embarrassingly minor.

Anyway... I headed over to trusty Pinterest to look for a comfort foody recipe to make. Enter creamy tomato pasta. Nothing too fancy, but it did involve at least a little bit of effort!

Creamy Tomato Pasta
Recipe from: Kitchen Trial and Error

Alfredo sauce adapted from cook's illustrated
30 minutes, serves 4

Tomato Sauce:
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 9 medium)
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
olive oil

Alfredo Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half & half
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 pound farfalle or other short cut pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Start the tomato sauce. bring a large pot of water to boil. score the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch in the boiling water for about a minute, cool and peel. discard skins. roughly chop tomatoes and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, sweat the minced onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  4. Add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic. if you want a thin sauce like mine, blend the sauce with an immersion blender. cook about 15 minutes until thickened.
  5. While the tomato sauce thickens, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
  6. While the pasta and tomato sauce are cooking, make the alfredo sauce. melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. whisk in the flour until smooth and cook about 2 minutes, until brown.
  7. Whisk in the milk, half & half, and garlic and season with salt & pepper. continuously whisking, bring to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes until thickened. fish out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
  8. Whisk in the parmesan. the sauce will be very thick, so add 1/3 cup of the hot pasta cooking water to the alfredo sauce to thin it out a bit. remove from heat.

  1. Drain the pasta and add to the alfredo sauce.
  2. Mix the basil into the tomato sauce and add the tomato sauce to the pasta. mix well.

I should mention that I did NOT make my own tomato sauce - we didn't have enough tomatoes and who am I kidding? I never cook... when I do, it probably won't be to make tomato sauce from scratch! It was delicious though, and definitely did a wonder on my funky mood. A bowl (and a little more) of this later and I was feeling much better about the state of the world. 

Is there anything a warm bowl of pasta won't fix?


  1. This looks so good!
    Wish I could have had dinner with YOU!
    Bud's been working nights this week so since I don't like cooking for one...I eat leftovers. Not nearly as enticing as this looks!!

  2. wow ! this looks amazing ! i absolutely love tomatoes, an all the other ingredients in this amazing looking recipe. i can't wait to try it. i'll have to remember to let you know how it turns out :)


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