Is there anything better than creamy pasta? How about creamy tomato pasta! I’m so excited about this pasta pomodoro recipe because it is basically everything I want to eat for dinner any night of the week. Big, hearty rigatoni noodles are coated in a tangy, luscious creamy tomato sauce. Plus, it’s a healthy bowl of pasta because there are quite a few yummy sauteed vegetables mixed in here as well.
This post is in partnership with Mutti Tomatoes, Italy’s #1 tomato brand, which is perfect timing because we are really craving summer food over here… even though it’s only April and summer is still a while away. Thanks to Mutti, we can dream of Italian summer nights with their fresh-tasting 100% Italian tomatoes, which are picked at their peak ripeness and packed with only a pinch of sea salt.
This recipe starts with my go-to Marinara sauce. Aside from using it to make the creamy pasta sauce in this final recipe, it’s a simple, quick pantry-based recipe that you should keep in your back pocket. It’s delicious on pasta, pizza, or even spaghetti squash. Everyone needs a basic marinara recipe and this one is mine.
Now to make marinara just a little bit more exciting… we’re blending it into a creamy pasta sauce! Oh, and I forgot to mention, we’re not using cream or cheese… but no one has to know that. To make the creamy pomodoro sauce, simply blend the marinara with cashews and tomato paste.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely minced shallot
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon cane sugar
- Pinch of dried oregano
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Marinara recipe, from above
- ¼ cup raw cashews* (see note)
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup pasta water
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 ounces rigatoni
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into thin half moons
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 14-ounce cans Mutti Cherry Tomatoes, drained
- 6 cups spinach or mix of spinach & arugula
- ¼ cup chopped parsley or sliced basil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper