A plate of pasta tossed with creamy tomato sauce topped with fresh basil and parmesan cheese on a marble table.
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Weeknight Tomato Cream Sauce

The portion sizes make a double batch of this creamy tomato sauce - one for tonight, and one for a freezer stash (or leftovers for the rest of the week). Cook once and eat twice for the win! Serve this over short pasta with ridges (like rigatoni, penne, or rotini) to "catch" the sauce. Add a simple tossed salad or steamed vegetable like broccoli for a well-rounded meal. 
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 165kcal
Author Danielle Esposti



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 28-oz cans fire roasted whole tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • pinch oregano
  • 5 tbsp butter use good butter, like Kerrygold
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil torn or julienned


  • Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and sautee until translucent - do not brown - about 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and sautee, stirring continuously, until fragrant (about a minute).
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices, salt, dried basil, parsley, and oregano. Give everything a good stir. Place the butter on top. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a simmer. Adjust the heat to low or medium low to maintain a consistent simmer with slow, large bubbles. Cover and simmer at least 20 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally and when you do so, use the back of a wooden spoon to gently crush the tomatoes.
  • Turn off the heat, then add the cream. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt or cream if needed. Toss half the sauce with one pound of a cooked short pasta like rigatoni. Portion onto plates or into pasta bowls and garnish with fresh basil. Freeze the remaining half of the pasta sauce in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months.


  • Check your canned tomatoes for salt content - if salt has been added, cut the salt amount in half to start. You can always add more at the end if more salt is needed.
  • Choose the right pasta shape - a short, ridged pasta like rigatoni or penne will grab onto the thick sauce better than a smooth pasta shape.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 891mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 25% | Vitamin C: 34% | Calcium: 8% | Iron: 8%