|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||49%|
|Total Carbohydrate 40g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Creamy tomato pasta is an easy main dish recipe. It's an excellent use for cream cheese, simply combining it with a classic tomato sauce and spaghetti. It may sound a little unusual to add cream cheese to a pasta recipe, but it adds a tangy note and rich creaminess to the sauce.
Ready in under 30 minutes, this creamy spaghetti is pure comfort food and a delicious weeknight dinner. It's also a great choice for a last-minute dinner party when served with toasted garlic bread, a crisp green salad, and rosé or red wine.
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Gather the ingredients.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook and stir until the onion is tender and just starts to brown around the edges, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the pasta sauce to the onion mixture. Add the water to the empty jar, close and shake to loosen the rest of the pasta sauce, and add to the skillet along with the undrained tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, so the mixture doesn't burn on the bottom.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the large pot of boiling water according to the package directions until al dente. Test the pasta by biting into it. If the pasta is firm but tender, it's done.
A few minutes before the spaghetti is done, add the cream cheese to the pasta sauce. Cook and stir, using a wire whisk, until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy. The cream cheese may not dissolve completely in the sauce because the sauce is acidic, but that's OK. It will add the desired creamy texture and flavor.
Drain the pasta and immediately add to the skillet with the sauce.
Toss for a few minutes, then serve. Enjoy,
- When cooking the pasta, be generous with the salt because it adds flavor to the pasta. As a general rule, use 2 tablespoons of salt per 1 gallon of water.
- Add whatever you like to this recipe. Good choices include minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, sliced mushrooms browned with the onion, grated carrots, black olives, or even some baby spinach leaves.
- Vary the pasta shape if you like. Fettucini would work well.
- For more of a casserole-style dish, use rigatoni or ziti and sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese on top. Add a few fresh basil leaves for fresh flavor.
- To make this dish vegan, substitute silken tofu or vegan cream cheese and switch to vegan butter or use extra oil. If you use tofu, you may want to add a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to give it the tangy sourness of genuine cream cheese.
Can Pasta Be Cooked in Sauce?
While you can cook pasta in a sauce, it really is best to cook the two elements separately. The time needed for perfectly cooked spaghetti doesn't always coincide with the sauce. By cooking the pasta on its own, you can pull it as soon as it's al dente and have it drained and ready to add to the sauce when it's needed.