Friday, September 7, 2012

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...While my search for new recipes sometimes takes me pretty far afield, I found the recipe I'm featuring tonight on my own end table in the August issue of Cooking Light magazine. Regular readers of One Perfect Bite know that the Silver Fox is a committed carnivore. That makes it difficult to test meatless recipes before passing them onto you. Fortunately, difficult does not mean impossible. The recipe I'm featuring tonight has lots going for it. It is meatless, delicious and figure friendly and I'm more than happy to recommend it to you. Like many cooks who feed carnivores, I usually add a chop or steak to his plate and treat the meatless main course as a side dish so it can be tested. It works well for us. Every once in awhile, I find a recipe that he likes well enough to eat without meat. This is one of them. I initially chose the recipe because it can be made quickly and the pasta makes a perfect meal for a fall weeknight dinner. Like all Cooking Light dishes, the recipe is solid. I do have a caution to share with those of you who plan to try it. Be judicious in the use of pasta water you add to the near-finished pasta. The dish can turn soupy very quickly. This is not a recipe flaw. I suspect the problem lies with the tomatoes and the way they are drained and measured. I used whole plum tomatoes, gave them a good poke and let them drain before I crushed and added them to the pot. I like a slightly thicker sauce, so I used just a cup of the pasta water to dilute my sauce. I really think you'll like this dish. The cream cheese adds some nuance to the sauce and makes it more interesting than it might sound. This is family fare and when it is served with a crisp salad and crusty bread, I guarantee there will be satisfied smiles around your table. I hope you give this recipe a try. Here is how the pasta is made.

Pasta with Tomato-Cream Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cooking Light magazine


8 ounces uncooked fettuccine or linguine
4 quarts boiling water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved

1) Cook pasta in 4 quarts boiling water with 1/4 teaspoon salt for 8 minutes or until noodles are almost al dente. Drain pasta through a sieve over a bowl; reserve 1-1/3 cups pasta cooking water.
2) Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until very fragrant and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and tomatoes; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved 1-1/3 cups pasta water; bring to a boil. Add cream cheese; stir until smooth. Add pasta, olives, and red pepper; cook 3 minutes or until pasta is al dente, tossing to coat. Divide pasta mixture among 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon basil. Divide Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly among servings. Yield: 4 servings.

One Year Ago Today:  Cucumber and Sour Cream Salad

Two Years Ago Today: Plum Buckle

Three Years  Ago Today: Shrimp Chowder


Diane said...

Masses of tomatoes in the garden at present so this is a perfect way to use them up. Thanks. Have a good day and take care Diane

Zane and Van said...

This recipe made us realize that we haven't had any pasta cooked in our kitchen recently. Thanks for the inspiration. Simple and delectable, we love it!

Kim said...

I'm sure I would like this dish because it looks simple and tasty!

From the Kitchen said...

You have solved my dinner dilemma! After a meeting, I have a handful of roasted shrimp and a dab of seafood sauce--perfect appetizer to go with your pasta. And, everything for the pasta is in my kitchen!! I think I'll dub this our "Mary to the rescue" dinner.

I hope you have a delicious weekend.


whozyerdanny said...

Classic Italian flavors. I could eat this every day !

Anonymous said...

Black olives?

Mary Bergfeld said...

Anonymous, oil-cured olives are black.

Joanne said...

I made this dish for me and the boyfriend last weekend!! It was a major hit.

Pam said...

My son just realized that he loves tomato cream sauce with pasta... he will be thrilled when I make this for him!

David said...

Mary, This meatless recipe sounds pretty good...with the addition of the cream cheese making the difference. Thanks for the recipe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Salsa Verde said...

Dear Mary, this pasta is just simple but divine!!
Cheers and hope you have a lovely weekend,

Tricia Buice said...

Sounds great Mary. I have tried a similar recipe with goat cheese. I love pasta, with a glass a wine, and a hunk of bread. Yum! Have a lovely weekend.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

I love the addition of lower fat cheese this ones a keeper.

Eileen said...

Sounds like a good one to try. I love simple pasta dishes with a few greens and some good bread.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I have always dearly loved creamy tomato sauces and 'vodka' sauces with tomatoes and cream. The addition of cream cheese has got to make this sauce extra decadent! Thanks for sharing something special from Cooking Light too!


Cindy said...

Another recipe to pin. Hubby is fine with meatless dinners--can't wait to try this.

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