Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta | Italian inspired pasta with a homemade creamy pan sauce using jarred sun dried tomatoes, garlic, spices, cream cheese, cream, Parmesan cheese, and everyone's favorite noodle, bucatini. This easy weeknight dinner takes only 15 minutes but the flavor of these ingredients combined together is both pleasing and comforting.
pasta and jarred sun-dried tomatoes make a 15-minute meal easy and decadent
This easy sun dried tomato pasta recipe is the perfect quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. The bold and concentrated flavors of the sun dried tomatoes meld perfectly with cream cheese, cream, and parmesan cheese to make cheesy, creamy tomato pasta the whole family will love.
In the time it takes to boil pasta, from water on the stovetop to draining, you can make this simple pan sauce with some pretty everyday ingredients. But the flavor is over the top amazing.
Ingredients for this recipe
I use the jarred sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. I can find them easier at my grocery store - in the with olives and pickles and such. The little bags of the dry version are a bit harder for me to find. Sometimes they are in the deli section, sometimes the produce. Jarred is the way to go. We're cooking them in butter anyway so the added olive oil is not a big deal.
You'll need a few other things that really up the flavor:
- Fresh minced garlic (always)
- dried basil (cuz basil and tomatoes are like pb + J)
- red pepper flakes (adds a tiny pinch of spice - you can omit this or add more)
- To make the creamy sauce we'll use about a quarter of a block of cream cheese, a bit of heavy cream, some of the pasta water, and some Parmesan cheese. Garnish with even more parmesan and some fresh parsley.
EXPERT TIP: Do you hate mincing garlic using a knife? Use a microplane or the smallest side of your block grater to mince the garlic.
What to serve with this recipe
Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside. Reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water for use in the sauce.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter.
- Add the sun dried tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring.
- Add the cream cheese and cook while stirring, until the cream cheese melts.
- Add a bit of the cream, stirring to loosen up the cream cheese. Add the rest of the cream and some of the pasta water. Stir and heat to a simmer. Add more pasta water if needed to get your desired consistency. I use about a ¼ cup. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix. Serve immediately.
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How to make a creamy sun dried tomato pan sauce
Check the video below to see it in action.
Cook your desired pasta according to package instructions. This usually takes about 15 minutes, from start to finish. Reserve about ½ a cup of the cooking water for use in the sauce.
Meanwhile, start with a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes and cook for a minute or two. Add the garlic and spices and cook for half a minute or until the garlic is really fragrant.
Add the cream cheese and stir while it melts. Add a little bit of cream to loosen up the cream cheese and then add the rest of the cream and about a ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir and bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Add more pasta water if you think your sauce needs it. This is a personal preference thing.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan, stir to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add the parmesan cheese and mix again. Serve hot while the sauce is creamy.
As the sauce cools the noodles soak up the sauce, as you can probably see in my photos. If you prefer a higher sauce to pasta ratio, use less pasta, or more cream cheese and cream.
Bucatini is a long hollow pasta shape, similar to spaghetti.
If you don't have bucatini noodles you can replace them with spaghetti, spaghettini, Fettucine, or linguine.