Sunday, April 5, 2015

Creamy Tomato Pasta - April Secret Recipe Club #Recipe

So, I have a thing for pasta... Simple, fast and delicious, dress it up with Alfredo or dress it down and throw in a bunch of fresh ingredients and toss. Really, it is a busy Mom's dream dinner because no one complains when I serve up pasta.

The hardest part is always deciding how to make it. I have a simple fresh spaghetti sauce that my kids really get excited for, while my husband is a fan of a creamy white sauce. So when I saw Kate's blog, Kitchen Trial and Error and found her recipe for Creamy Tomato Pasta, well, I was sold.

Um, let me back up a minute. Kate's blog just happens to be The Secret Recipe Club April assignment. I drooled over page after page of delicious food photos and recipes. With a hearty number of pasta options, too. Really, I am going to have to go back and make a few more because my schedule has been insane around here.

Kate is all the way on the other side of the US, in NY, and she shares a love of kitchen adventuring. I have to love a fellow blogger who gets excited to create things from scratch that she could just as easily buy at the store. Yes, I still think that added love makes all the difference.

Now usually I don't throw tomato recipes up on the blog out of season, but really folks, I just couldn't wait. My husband has started the crazy long farming hours to get things planted, but tomatoes haven't been on the list yet. This year I opted to skip the greenhouse planting and will be getting all my tomato plants (yes, full plants) delivered in May. Our home garden will be full and overflowing with various colors and sizes of tomatoes.

So, this recipe, the best marriage between a glorious fresh tomato sauce and a creamy Alfredo, WILL be coming back out when the tomatoes are ready. It will probably be coming out again and again.

I grabbed some rather sad roma tomatoes at the grocery store, but the recipe still turned out delicious. Start off the party by slashing the bottom of each tomato, simmering it for a minute or two and then shocking it in a nice ice bath.

The tough outer peel will come away easily after that.

Then I sauteed up some onion and garlic. The chopped tomato joined the party and I simmered it all till it was softened. Since my basil is not in season, I had some frozen cubes in the freezer that I added to the sauce. You can also grab these in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

Then you can grab an imersion blender, but I grabbed my Blendtec and pureed the tomato mixture till smooth.

Then I completely switched gears and created a creamy Alfredo sauce.


Creamy Tomato Sauce
adapted recipe from Kitchen Trial and Error

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh tomatoes (I used Roma)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 c. basil, frozen or fresh
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb. farfalle pasta
Put a large stock pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. 

In another medium sized pot, bring water up to a simmer. Cut an "X" onto the bottom of each tomato and let them blanch for about a minute, or until the peel starts to pull away. Drop tomatoes into a ice water bath to finish the cooking process. Finish pealing them, slice in half, remove the seeds and then dice. Set aside.

in a small pan, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil till softened. Then add in the tomato and stock,  continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down. Then transfer the mixture to a blender and and chop or puree as desired. Return to the pot and continue to simmer gently and thicken.

Cook your pasta as directed on the package.

For the Alfredo sauce by,  melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let cook until fragrant. Then whisk in the heavy cream and garlic. Continue whisking until it thickens. Remove the garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and whisk in the Parmesan Cheese.

Combine the tomato sauce and alfredo in one pan. Use reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Toss with Farfalle and garnish with a little more freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.


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