Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

I thought I would start out my cooking blog by honoring my Italian roots. My Nonno (my dad’s dad) is from Italy and moved to Canada when he was 10 years old. He learned how to cook from his mother and he and my Nonna loved to be in the Kitchen. (Apparently that gene got lost when it came to me). My Nonno’s favorite dish to make was spaghetti with chicken wings and homemade sauce from tomatoes in his garden. His recipe is a little advanced for me at this stage, so I will be making a easy pasta recipe. As I was researching sites to use for easy pasta dishes, The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce kept coming up. I decided that would be the one I would try.

The first thing I did was go to the store and bought all my ingredients. From her recipe, these were the ingredients. I already had olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper at home. The rest of the ingredients I had to buy.


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Size) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Dash Of Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese, To Taste
  • Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • 1-1/2 pound Fettuccine

These were all my ingredients. I wanted to make sure I included the  brands of the ingredients I used. There are other options (especially noodles), but I talk about those in another post.

In the recipe from The Pioneer Woman, there were step by step prep directions, cooking directions, and pictures that went along with what to do so it was very easy to follow along with. The following pictures are  in the order that I prepped them.

I included the tools I used. I used a pot for the noodles, a pan for the sauce, and a can opener to open the cans of tomato sauce. (This seems silly to include, but before I had my own house, I DID NOT own one.) Trust me, you’ll need one more than you think! Also be sure to buy a decent one. The cheap ones are cheap for a reason; they don’t open anything.

The first thing I did was cut the onion. Cut the onion in half, then cut the tops off, peel the skin, then cut the halves in vertical slices, then turn it to dice it. If the pieces are still too big, then dice them some more for small pieces. I used one medium size yellow onion instead of a white onion like the recipe called for.

The next thing I did was minced the garlic. I bought whole garlic bulbs. Each bulb has about 10-12 cloves. For this recipe, I used four cloves. They are pretty easy to peel and chop into fine tiny pieces. It does get a little sticky to the knife, but just wipe off the blade onto the cutting board. You can reuse garlic, as long as the cloves are still in their paper thin covering.

The next and last thing to prep was the basil. I cut it into tiny little pieces. Some stores sell cut up basil, but the recipe called for fresh basil, so the leaves still on the stem seemed as fresh as it was going to get. I didn’t cut up a lot since it wasn’t a main ingredient in the recipe. I would say 1/4 cup is plenty

I turned my stove on medium heat and put 2 tbs. of butter and 2 tbs. of olive oil in my pan. Once the butter was melted, I put my onions and garlic in the pan. Make sure to sauté the onions well, because that flavor will add to your sauce. My stove got to0 hot, so I turned my oven down in between low and medium. It only took a minute to sauté the onions and garlic.

Then I opened my jars of sauce and added them to the pan with a little bit of salt and pepper. I added more pepper once I started stirring and tasting. It will be a personal preference to add more or not. Just start off with a little (you can always add to your dish, it’s hard to fix it when it’s too salty). The recipe gave advice to add sugar if it needed some sweetness. This is the reason I used a yellow onion instead of a white onion; yellow onions are more sweet, so I didn’t need to add sugar. If you use white onion, you might need to add some sugar because sometimes when you cook tomatoes sauce, it can have an acidic taste and the sugar helps give it back some sweetness.

The directions said to stir and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, but since I had so much sauce in the pan, it took longer to cook fully. I cooked my sauce for about 40 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, I started to boil water for the noodles. I always put two shakes of salt in my water for noodles so they don’t stick together. I cooked the entire box of pasta. Once the water is boiling, I had the noodles cook for ten minutes. (I followed the boxes directions 8-12 minutes. I like my noodles al dente.)

While the noodles were cooking, I took my sauce off heat and added a cup of cream to it. When I mixed in the cream, it went from a red to an orange color. Once the noodles were done, I drained the water and then put them back in the pot and poured the sauce over the noodles. The recipe said to add the noodles into the sauce, but the pan wasn’t big enough, so I had to add the sauce to the pot of noodles.

I added the basil to the dish. You are also supposed to add the cheese to the dish as well, but I had a mishap with my cheese (it will be in my review of the dish), so I didn’t have cheese in my pasta.

Once the basil was all stirred in, I served it to my fiancé for dinner. We both really liked the dish (my fiancé had seconds that night). This will for sure be added to our recipes that we make. Next time, we will add the cheese!!

From the The Pioneer Woman, the bottom of her blog it had these instructions:

“Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately. (Thin with pasta water before adding basil if needed.)”


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