Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce


I used to be so intimidated to make my own pasta sauces. Doesn’t that sound like something a full blooded Italian (which I’m not) can whip up with a glass of wine in one hand and without breaking a sweat? Intimidating. I’ve been playing around with it though… learned a few basic recipes, married a few new techniques. And I came up with a pretty easy (and vegetarian!) recipe that tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen. Ready for it?

What you’ll need:

2T Olive oil

Crushed red pepper


Salt and pepper

1 Onion- chopped

4-6 Cloves minced garlic (4 if you prefer a subtle garlic taste, 5-6 if you LOVE garlic)

2 cups (or a 14 oz can) of petite diced tomatoes

1/4 cup water

1 T dried Basil or 3 T fresh Basil… I just cut about a dozen fresh leaves with scissors.

1/4 tsp dried Oregano

1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

Supplies: Large skillet, a blender or food processor


Heat Olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper. Heat on mediu-high for 2 minutes until onions become golden. *Note: Start small with the paprika and red pepper… just sprinkle enough to give the onion a little dusting and red color. The flavor will intensify later and you can always add more later. 

Add tomatoes, water, basil, oregano. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. While it’s simmering you can taste to add more paprika, red crushed pepper or salt and paper. This is also when I boil water for the pasta.

Add heavy cream and immediately remove from heat. To make it vegan you could use almond milk, although I haven’t tried it myself yet.

Pour contents into blender/food processor. Pulse until smooth. *Note:It will be hot so make sure its glass or heat resistant plastic. I use large Ball jar with my blender. 


I served my sauce over Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti (Buitoni) with fresh basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Hubby says it would be delish with shrimp or chicken over Penne or Fettuccine too! You can make this as mild or spicy as you like! I jarred the rest of the sauce (take note of the expiration date on your cream) and ate leftovers for lunch yesterday. So yummy if I may say so myself!


Grown up Mac-n-Cheese

Everybody loves a good macaroni and cheese recipe, myself included. I have a favorite classic recipe that I usually bring as a vegetarian friendly contribution to Thanksgiving so I think I’ll be sharing it later in the fall. But I also happen to have a more summer inspired hot pasta recipe that I like to call “Grown Up Mac-n-Cheese” and its always a hit. It’s based on a recipe my aunt gave me but I doctored it up a bit so it has a little bit of *zing* to it. It also is super easy and fast since it does not require making a roux like a traditional macaroni recipe.


What you will need:

16oz of Sour Sream – I used reduced fat

16oz of Cottage Cheese – small curd is best

1 lb of Penne pasta

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 – 2.5 tsp (I’ve even been known to do 3 tsp) Worcestershire sauce

1 bunch green onion (diced)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper



Preheat oven to 350F

Cook penne noodles according to box and drain.

Mix sour cream, cottage cheese, and Worcestershire sauce in large bowl. Use hand mixer to break up clumps and blend gently. Add green onion, salt and pepper in large bowl. I usually just toss them all in the stand mixer in one step.

In a large bowl, mix pasta with the sour cream mixture together. Pour into greased 9″x 13″ pan, cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until bubbling. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.


Enjoy! It’s a favorite around here!

PSSSSSST My Etsy Shop is celebrating the end of summer! Use coupon code SUMMER30 for 30% off your jewelry or photography purchase over $10 now through September 30th!