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One-Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta

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You won’t believe this creamy tomato pasta! It’s rich and creamy (without using a lot of cream!), incredibly easy to make, made with simple ingredients, and totally yummy. Serve the one-pot pasta with a simple veggie side like kale salad or 5-minute Italian chopped salad and dinner is done.

This recipe uses an interesting cooking method for super creamy pasta without a ton of cream that I saw this in Cooks Illustrated. Essentially you cook the pasta in the water without draining and then add in some heavy cream to finish it off. The cooking liquid is naturally creamy thanks to the starches, which is why so many pasta recipes include incorporating some of the cooking liquid into the sauce. Here were using all of it!

I played around with this method and for this particular creamy tomato sauce pasta, I used bone broth (for more protein and flavor and richness) and marinara sauce for the cooking liquid and then finished it off with the heavy cream. It’s a pink sauce pasta, made easy all in one pot.

Bowl of creamy tomato pasta with fresh parmesan.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What is One-Pot Pasta?

One-pot pasta is a cooking technique that cooks all of the ingredients for your pasta dish in one dish, at the same time, instead of cooking all of the components separately.

So with this simple pasta recipe, instead of cooking the pasta first and then adding the sauce to it, we’re cooking the sauce in with the pasta to infuse even more flavor into the pasta.

What You’ll Love About Creamy Tomato Pasta

  • Easy and delicious meal
  • Incredibly rich and creamy, thanks to the cooking method
  • Made with just 4 ingredients
  • Just 25 minutes total cook time
  • Pretty family-friendly
  • Satisfying
  • 15 grams protein per serving!

Ingredients

  • Chicken bone broth – I recommend chicken bone broth for a few reasons: it’s an easy way to add in some protein and it adds richness to the dish.
  • Marinara sauce – Use a high-quality marinara sauce. You can also play around with flavors, an arribata sauce will add a little spice to the dish, which my husband and I loved, my kids not as much.
  • Pasta – I recommend using a twisty pasta shape here, but you can really use any type of short noodle.
  • Heavy cream – The heavy cream is what makes the pasta sauce pink! You don’t need a ton as this method creates a super creamy pasta.
  • Extras – Finish this pink sauce pasta with shredded Parmesan cheese, flaky sea salt, fresh black pepper, and fresh basil.
Ingredients to make pink pasta sauce recipe

How to Make One-Pot Pasta

This is an overview on how to make pasta with tomato cream sauce, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Bring to a boil. Combine the bone broth, marinara, pasta, and sea salt in a dutch oven or large pot, stir everything together, and bring to a boil.
Ingredients to make creamy tomato pasta in a pot
Simmer. Turn heat down to medium and simmer until pasta is al dente. Cooking time will vary, based on the type of pasta you use.
Finish pasta. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, and flaky sea salt.
Pot with creamy tomato pasta sauce over noodles.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover creamy tomato pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

How to reheat

Reheat pasta in the microwave until warmed through or a hot skillet with

Can you freeze tomato cream sauce recipe?

No, this is not a great recipe to freeze. Both the pasta and heavy cream will change texture in the freezing/thawing process and not in a good way!

Close up of pink pasta sauce with noodles.

What to Serve with One-Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta

All this one-pot pasta needs is a simple veggie side. Try one of these easy side dishes:

How to Feed Creamy Tomato Pasta to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the noodles with creamy pasta sauce in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

Two bowls of creamy tomato pasta with fresh parmesan

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Bowl of pink pasta sauce with noodles.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

If you like easy pasta recipes like this one, be sure to try these other pasta recipes next time:

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Bowl of creamy tomato pasta with fresh parmesan.

Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta Recipe

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Description

You won’t believe this creamy tomato pasta! It’s rich and creamy, incredibly easy to make, made with simple ingredients, and totally yummy. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (28 oz.)
  • 1 lb. short pasta like cavatappi)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • For serving: freshly grated parmesan, freshly cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Bring bone broth, marinara, and pasta to a boil in a dutch oven. Turn heat to medium and simmer until pasta is al dente, following package instructions. Note: If it starts really boiling, turn heat down to low. You want this to be simmering but not a hard boil.
  2. Start checking pasta at about half-way through the cooking time for al dente (cooking time will depend on your particular cut of pasta). Remove from heat, but don’t drain.
  3. Stir in heavy cream and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, and flaky sea salt to taste.


Notes

  • Use a high-quality marinara like Rao’s or your favorite brand
  • If mixture starts getting dry, add more liquid (broth or marinara) in 1/2 cup increments. 

Keywords: pink sauce, creamy tomato pasta, one pot pasta, 

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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