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Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

February 17, 2010

Sometimes the best recipes begin with ingredients that fall in your lap, rather than ones that have been meticulously planned.

Several months ago, my foodie friend Leslie and her husband went on a missions trip out of the country, and Stu and I house-sat for them. She gave me her leftover shallots and fragrant fresh thyme before leaving, since she knew that I could probably use them. I came up with this quick and easy sauce since I also had a can of diced tomatoes and cream on hand.  The sauce can be prepped as the pasta is cooking.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

1 shallot
1 Tbls olive oil
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly grated pepper, to taste
2 Tbls minced fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried (I admit that I’ve used dried since I first made this, but fresh is better)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Saute minced shallot in olive oil for 1-2 minutes, or until tender.  Add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Break up the tomato a bit with a spoon. Heat to a boil, then simmer while your pasta cooks (about 7-10 minutes). Remove sauce from heat, and stir in cream.  Drain pasta, then put back in the pot.  Cover with sauce, and stir to combine.  Sprinkle liberally with freshly grated Parmesan to serve.  Serves 2.

I usually serve this pasta by itself, or with a light side salad.  It is also excellent with leftover cooked chicken that’s been warmed on top. This recipe makes more sauce than necessary for the amount of pasta Stu and I eat, so I almost always have some sauce left over.  It reheats well, so make extra pasta for lunch the next day.  Or, top your morning scrambled eggs with the leftover sauce.  I have not tried this myself, but it sounds really good!

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