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Close up shot of penne pasta in a pan with light tomato sauce and Parmesan on top

15-Minute Creamy Tomato Pasta

This 15 Minute, Creamy Tomato Pasta has sweet sautéed onions, garlic, rich tomato paste, and a touch of cream combined for a flavor packed sauce that rivals any restaurant dish.
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 684kcal
Author Diana Reis


  • 1 lb Pasta Rigatoni or Penne
  • ½ Yellow Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 6 oz Canned Tomato Paste
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ Cup Reserved Pasta Water
  • 1 tablespoon Dehydrated Basil or 3 tablespoon Fresh
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • ½ Cup Grated Parmesan for topping Optional


  • Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add salt to the water. Boil rigatoni or penne using the instructions on the package.
  • Before draining away the pasta water, reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
  • Gather all of the sauce ingredients because this sauce cooks up very fast.
  • Dice onions and mince garlic.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
  • Add Olive Oil to the skillet and add diced onions. Saute onions until they are translucent. Then add minced garlic and let it warm through.
  • Add 6oz of tomato paste to the onions and garlic.
  • Add the reserved pasta water and start to thin out the tomato sauce.
  • Next add the cream to the paste and stir.
  • Season the tomato cream sauce with salt, pepper, and dry basil.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cream sauce and stir until pasta is well coated with creamy sauce and the entire dish is hot.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve


  • Start the pasta water on the stove before anything else. This way you can drop the pasta while your sauce is coming together. 
  • Don’t Forget to save the pasta water.
  • This sauce comes together very quickly so make sure to pull all of your ingredients out before you get started. 
  • After the onions soften, add garlic. It is really important not to add the garlic at the same time as the onion. Garlic has lots of sugars and when it is left to cook too long it burns and becomes bitter. I always wait to add garlic until my onions are almost completely cooked. Pressed or minced garlic cooks really fast and just needs to warm through to start adding that amazing flavor.
  • If you do not have the heavy cream, use the half and half you have on hand for coffee. You can also use regular milk and add 2 Tablespoons of butter for richness. Cream cheese is also a good substitute, but you will need about a ¼  of a cup more pasta water to thin the sauce.


Calories: 684kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 768mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1194IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 225mg | Iron: 4mg