Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce is a super fast 20-minute meal. Add chicken or keep it vegetarian – the whole family will love it. Try it today!
Sometimes I am super organized and photograph and write blogs posts way ahead of time. And then sometimes I forget that I was super organized and find awesome recipe photos on my hard drive months later. HA. But, I’m so glad I realized I never shared this pasta with tomato cream sauce recipe with you because now I can! It is so quick and delicious.
I initially made this tomato cream sauce for lunch a few times when I wanted something more substantial than our usual lunch. Abe loved it immediately and when I added chicken, it was a substantial enough meal for Andy to enjoy for dinner! You could keep it meat-free, or substitute some zucchini chunks in for the chicken to amp up the veggies.
This tomato cream sauce is super easy – cream and tomato paste! The strong flavor of the garlic and hot pepper flakes go perfectly with the robust sauce. And honestly, 30 minutes is a stretch. I usually make it in the amount of time it takes to boil the pasta! It’s probably a 15-minute meal.
The only tricky part of this tomato cream sauce recipe is getting the mozzarella not to stick in a big clump. But there is an easy solution for that! Cube up the cheese and then keep it cold! If you got it straight from the fridge, popping it back in there should do the trick. If it’s a bit warmer, try the freezer for a few minutes.
Keeping the cheese cold will let you stir it evenly over the pasta and tomato cream sauce before it starts to melt, avoiding a big giant clump in around your stirring spoon. It’s a handy little trick!
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Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce and Chicken
- 1 pound penne pasta or any tubular pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chicken breast cooked and cubed
- 4 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup mozzarella cubed or mini-mozzarella balls
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- Place mozzarella in the fridge to keep cold. If the cheese was warm, place it in the freezer.
- Boil pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, prepare the sauce.
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium low heat until shimmering.
- Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove from pan.
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add cream to the pan, stir until bubbling subsides, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so.
- Add tomato paste and simmer until flavors are melded and the cream is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add pasta and chicken to the sauce, stir to coat.
- Add cold mozzarella to the pasta, and quickly stir to evenly distribute throughout pasta.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil.