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Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 612
pasta with tomato cream sauce in a braiser with arugula and basil and parmesan

Tomatoes simmered with fresh basil and cream are basically all it takes to make this supremely comforting, satisfying pasta with tomato cream sauce.

In the Pink (Sauce)

Regular old canned tomatoes—both tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, actually—and fresh basil get the luxury treatment in this silky, rich creamy tomato sauce pasta recipe. It’s basically everything you dream about when you dream about the ideal bowl of pasta (this is a normal thing to dream about, yes?). It’s hearty, it’s tomato-y, it’s basil-y, it’s a little cheesy, AND it’s creamy! It’s all the best pasta things! Oh yeah, it’s vegetarian, too, so it’s perfect for meatless Mondays.

homemade tomato sauce in a pan
creamy tomato sauce in a pan

Here’s What You’ll Need To Make The Easiest Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce

While we love a fresh tomato pasta as much as the next person, canned tomatoes are great, too. They’re easy to keep on-hand (they are always, always in our pantry), and they’re canned at the peak of ripeness, so they’re full of big, sweet, juicy tomato flavor. This creamy pasta recipe uses two kinds of canned tomatoes—crushed (or diced would be OK in a pinch) and canned tomato sauce. As you’ll see, together, they give this creamy tomato sauce recipe just the right texture. OK, so two types of canned tomatoes. But what else is in this pasta with tomato cream sauce recipe? You’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite pasta
  • Fresh basil
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
tomato cream sauce in a pan with basil and parmesan cheese
pasta in a pan with tomato cream sauce

How To Make Tomato Cream Sauce

This smooth and creamy pink sauce recipe is a breeze to make. Here’s how fast and simple it can be to make your pasta wishes poof into pasta reality:

  1. Simmer the canned tomatoes, oil, basil and salt for 20 minutes, or until the mixture looks nicely thick and saucy.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.
  3. Stir the cream, parmesan cheese and cooked pasta into the tomato sauce and let the whole mixture simmer til it comes together into one gloriously creamy pasta potful.
  4. Serve! If you want to make it a little dressy, top it with fresh arugula, fresh cherry tomatoes—but it’ll be good without those things, too. Extra Parm to finish, though, is non-negotiable!
pasta with tomato cream sauce with cherry tomatoes and arugula in a pan

More Recipes for Pasta With Tomato Sauce

Give the people what they want! And what they want is pasta with tomato sauce for dinner. Every night. No exceptions.

Tools You’ll Need

pasta dish with tomato cream sauce arugula and parmesan
pasta dish with tomato cream sauce arugula and parmesan in a bowl

Every Night Is Pasta Night!

And nobody is complaining! Lately, we’ve been leaning hard on the ease and comfort of simple pastas like this creamy tomato pasta. You too? If you make this recipe, we’d love to hear about it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see it. Happy eating!

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 612


  • 1 lb Favorite pasta, cooked al dente
  • 28 oz Crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 8 Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 cup Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Fresh arugula (optional)
  • 1 cup Fresh tomatoes (optional)


  1. In a large, preferably non-reactive saucepan, stir together crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, olive oil, basil and salt. Bring tomato sauce to a rapid simmer and reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. If sauce isn’t thick enough for your liking, allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering prepare your pasta!
  3. Once the sauce is thickened add in cream and cheese and stir until combined. Add in cooked pasta and stir over medium/low heat until pasta is completely coated in sauce.
  4. Serve topped with fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes and more shaved cheese. Red pepper also make a great addition.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 612
  • Protein 14 g
  • Carbohydrates 53 g
  • Total Fat 40 g
  • Dietary Fiber 9 g
  • Cholesterol 79 mg
  • sodium 2186 mg
  • Total Sugars 17 g

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Laura Howard

    Can you use half and half or greek yogurt instead of heavy cream?

    Great question! Half and Half should be a fine substitution.

  • Lily

    I love all of your recipes. Every time I make one I think it is my favorite until I try the next one.Question...I would like to make this recipe using a crockpot. I want to make the sauce in a crockpot so that when I come home from work I can just add already cooked pasta. Do you have any suggestions for how to do this? High vs low and how long to simmer for in a crock pot?Thanks!Lily

    Thank you! That's so kind. This one might be tricky to do in a Crock-Pot, because you'll simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, then add the cream, and give it another gentle simmer—in other words, it needs a little attention part way through. However, it does come together fast! You can make the sauce in just a bit longer than the time it takes to boil pasta.

  • char

    pasta with arugula is basically salad, right?! this looks amazing!

    Totally salad! I like the way you think!

  • Anke Knospe

    With the temperatures dropping, sometimes all you want is a big pot of comfort food. This simple but oh so delicious pasta recipe perfectly fulfills that craving. Bonus: you only need 2 pots, so clean-up will be done in a jiffy.

    Yup! That’s why we love it!

  • Christine

    Can never have too many simple pasta dishes! Something that the kids will eat too!

    I agree!

  • Zeus

    Great recipe, I added a few other veggies to help make the flavor rich and hearty. It's a simple recipe that will have the house smelling great. My party loved it, but I always do my own thing. I paired it with a rich crusty bread and a sweet Italian sausage cooked in a light olive oil and it took things up a few notch. I didn't throw the meat grease in the red sauce because there was a vegetarian in the bunch. But, this paired well with it. I also added a good crusty bread with olive oil, tomatoes, a few chesses, some Italian seasonings, rosemary, and salty butter. It was delicious. Simple things added in to elevate this dish.

    Here's a few changes: Add more salt 1 TSP, 1 TSP Italian seasoning, reduce the cream from 1 cup to 1/2 cup. Use either Roma tomatoes and add chopped Spinach at the end. The parm is good for looks, but go with an Italian blend or add another white cheese to compliment the flavor. If you add a 2nd cheese, do half and half of the suggested cheese servings. Bread crumbs and shredded parm works too.

    While cooking let it simmer a little longer than 15-20 minutes if you add more veggies that contain water (no brainer); I added cucumbers, spinach, and tomatoes. Lastly garlic cloves go good, but chop them up. Also, I threw a few small pinches of sugar, not much to it. And a few teaspoons of vodka work well, don't go cheap on it. Grab a shooter and for this recipe you'll use less than half, but it's up to you. If you use vodka, use a thicker noodle and don't over cook them.

    Glad. you liked it Zeus. Way to give it your own flair!