Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving this week.  Where did the year go?  If you’re like me, you’re running around trying to get things ready around the house, whether you’re hosting or visiting for the holiday.  My husband and I are going to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving day and to my husband’s mom’s house the day after.  I’m in charge of bringing dessert so I’ve been baking my heart away this past weekend.

Since I’m short on time (more than usual) I needed to whip up dinner quickly and I wanted something that didn’t resemble turkey and trimmings (because I know I’ll be up to my eye balls with it later in the week).  In the midst of pies and cookies, I whipped up this pasta covered in a creamy tomato sauce in 30 minutes.  I even have leftover sauce to use for future quick meals.

05Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe
(About 8 servings)

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of mini shell pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounce each) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. In a medium skillet, over Medium heat, heat the butter and oil.
  3. Add in the onions and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the tomato sauce.
  5. Season with the salt, pepper, and white sugar.
  6. Turn the heat down to Low/Simmer and cook for it for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the heavy cream.
  8. Stir in the grated and shredded Parmesan cheeses. (* See note below)
  9. Stir in the pasta. (* See note below)

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

* Note: The cheeses and sauce will soak into the pasta overnight.  If you don’t think you’ll eat all of the pasta then I recommend adding the cheeses and sauce directly to your plate and store the leftover sauce in a separate jar in the refrigerator.


It’s kind of mandatory to have onion and garlic in Italian food and let me tell you, there is a lot of garlic going on here.

01Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

The sauce starts off a tad thin and red.  It is a tomato sauce, after all.     😉  It will thicken up a bit as it cooks.  Boy, my kitchen smells fabulous with all that simmering garlic!  Don’t let the awesome aromas distract you from cooking the pasta at the same time.  Without a little multitasking this won’t be as much of a time saving meal.

02Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

How cute is the shell pasta?  Of course you don’t have to use it.  This recipe is all about expediency so use whatever you have handy at home.  Although I’d recommend using a pasta that has nooks and crannies so the creamy sauce has a place to hang out.

06Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

This pink sauce is a tomato based sauce and the heavy cream makes it rich.  Its taste and texture is similar to a penne alla vodka sauce (minus the vodka of course).

I think the cheese takes the sauce from great to phenomenal.  I used both grated and shredded Parmesan cheeses to enhance the flavor and texture.  Plus I added a dollop of ricotta cheese on top of my dish to make it even more creamy.  I love my fresh basil so I sprinkled some on top too.  It’s not just for color and presentation points…it really adds great flavor to the dish.

03Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

This meal is super inexpensive.  It’s definitely one of the cheapest meals I’ve made so far and I’m all for saving money!

08Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, what are your plans?



4 Hats

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman


Here are some other quick meal ideas.

Cheese Slop

05Cheese Slop

 Hamburger Pie

07Hamburger Pie


  1. I’m in charge of desserts too! It will look like a pie factory in my kitchen tomorrow night. This pasta looks tasty.

    1. Tina says:

      I’m a sucker for any kind of pie! When can I show up? 😉 Have a lovely Thanksgiving Natalie!

  2. That bowl is so pretty! And so is this pasta dish; simple and decadent – perfect for rushed pie makers!

    1. Tina says:

      I just bought this bowl at a Home Goods store for $3 or $4! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday Mary Frances!

  3. I’m working today but I’m off the rest of the week. I’m making most of the sides to take to my mom’s place as well as desserts so I’ll be baking all day Wednesday!
    I love this pasta dish. So simple but I bet it’s good.

    Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving, Tina!

    1. Tina says:

      Wow, it sounds like you’ll certainly be busy! Have a lovely time with your family. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  4. Kelly says:

    This pasta dish looks wonderful and I love how quick and easy it is to put together. Hope you have a great week Tina and a wonderful time at both Thanksgiving dinners 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Kelly! I’m so thankful to have met such wonderful people like you. 🙂

  5. A delicious cream sauce with this pasta, your photos really capture the flavour 😀


    1. Tina says:

      You’re so sweet! Thank you so much. 🙂

  6. This looks like such a wonderful and tasty pasta dish! I love a good pasta for dinner! Have a great week Tina!

    1. Tina says:

      Pasta for the win!

  7. It’s final exams week for me now, so I’m all in for such easy, quick and delicious meals! This looks fabulous, I need to try that cream based sauce asap 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! Good luck on your exams Consuelo! I’m sure you’ll do great. 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh, this pasta looks awesome! I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes, but creamy tomato sauce is something I’ve always been really attracted to. It’s just amazing. End of.
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving visiting your family!
    Pinning this dish.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I put way more of this tomato cream sauce on my pasta than I do traditional marinara sauce. Now I do like tomatoes, but I’m just realizing that it’s probably because the tomato flavor is not as pronounced in this sauce.
      Have a lovely week! 🙂

  9. marcie says:

    This looks like one delicious pasta dish, Tina! You have yourself a fantastic Thanksgiving visiting your family, too. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Marcie! Have a lovely Thanksgiving! 🙂

  10. I ALWAYS order this type of sauce at Italian restaurants! There are so many names, so I just end up asking for “the pink sauce”. SO GOOD!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, pink sauce…love it!

  11. Joanne says:

    I love a good bowl of easy, delicious comfort food like this! Perfect amidst all the craziness of holiday prep.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Joanne!

  12. Great idea to post a quick, easy dinner recipe this week! Yes, it’s all about turkey, but we need something to tide us over until Thursday

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much. 🙂

  13. This is totally the type of dish I love to whip up for myself for a quick, delicious, weeknight meal (with great leftovers!). In fact, last night I made tortellini with peas, sausage, + a tomato cream sauce … and I had some of the leftovers for breakfast, HA! =)

    1. Tina says:

      Love tortellini and that sounds awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  14. Love having quick dinners! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Tina!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Laura! You too have a lovely Thanksgiving! 🙂

  15. I’m with ya – can’t believe how fast this year went!! Can you bring me a plate of this for lunch please? haha

    1. Tina says:

      Knock, knock…pasta delivery! 😉

  16. Yes, this week is going by too fast. I’m never really ready for the big Turkey day. My husband does the turkey (in the smoker) and I do all the pies and everything in between. Then there are all of the guests…So to say the least the next few days are busy for us. The boys and us would love to make this easy pasta dish for dinner while I put aside the kitchen aid for a minute. (=

    1. Tina says:

      Sounds like you will have your hands full! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Gloria! 🙂

  17. Oh, I am a total sucker for Italian food…especially when it involves a cream sauce! Sign me up for this meal any night of the week! (and yes, as much as I love turkey, I suspect I’ll be up to my eyeballs in it soon enough, too.)

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  18. Oh, I love penne alla vodka sauce and am really excited that you mentioned it tastes like this. I’ve been wanting an alcohol-free version so I will definitely be trying this one out. Thank you and have a good Thanksgiving!

    1. Tina says:

      That’s how this recipe came about…I wanted to make penne alla vodka without the vodka! You too have a lovely Thanksgiving! 🙂

  19. Monica says:

    You can never go wrong with pasta…and right now, it’s a great idea to make extra sauce and things so you can whip up another quick meal another night. I applaud you for taking time to make good meals during this holiday rush. It takes a little effort but it’s so worth it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Tina says:

      Pasta is definitely my go-to meal! Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 You too have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  20. Tina, I love how fast and easy this is! Great for a weeknight meal. I am always looking for great (fast & easy) recipes during the week! Have a great Thanksgiving!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! You too have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  21. No matter where an American lives, they celebrate Thanksgiving. Here in Australia the turkeys are pretty small and traditional ingredients must be sourced WAY before the holiday. Add to that it’s summer here and you’ll see that Americans will do anything to feel American on Thanksgiving. 🙂

    A bowl of this wonderful pasta is what I need right now! Off to brine the bird.

    1. Tina says:

      Fascinating! I’ve never brined a turkey before…have fun! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂 Happy turkey day!

  22. I love quick dinners after a long day. This looks delicious!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  23. Definitely a fan of a quick dinner, all year round! This sauce sounds fantastic.

    1. Tina says:

      I totally agree! Thanks. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *