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Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Recipe

Have you taken up gardening and your kitchen is overflowing with basil and tomatoes in the summer? This recipe can help use up the bounty of the backyard veggie patch by using cherry tomatoes and basil in a creamy, cheese sauce. Our recipe for Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta is delicious!

Creamy tomato basil pasta

What could go better with tomatoes and basil than cheese and pasta? This amazing combination is something that the Italians got right. Our recipe for Creamy Basil Tomato Pasta uses both. Additionally, our recipe makes things pretty easy for you by using frozen ravioli. You can choose whether you want cheese stuffed ravioli or meat stuffed ravioli. In some places, you can even find ravioli stuffed with other things, like spinach or veggies, and they would be great in this recipe too. If you can’t find ravioli, but you have tortellini on hand, feel free to make that substitution. The recipe will be delicious either way.

Rich and creamy pasta with fresh red tomatoes in a plating

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Recipe

April Freeman
Basil and tomatoes, tomatoes and basil---does a better flavor combination exist? In the hottest part of the summer, these two foods are at their peak quality and taste. The tangy, sweet flavor of tomatoes is accented perfectly by the warm herbal flavor of the basil. Our recipe for Creamy Tomato Basil and Pasta takes these two delicious tastes and adds the creamy texture of cheese and the filling qualities of stuffed pasta like ravioli.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Frying Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb Ground Italian sausage
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp mince garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese softened at room temp.
  • 1 lb package of frozen ravioli or tortellini choose whatever variety you prefer, cheese stuffed, meat stuffed, or something else
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed basil leaves, shredded
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

  • Pour the olive oil into a large, heavy bottomed skillet and heat it over medium heat. When the oil is runny and shimmering, it is hot enough. Add the sausage to the hot oil, cooking it, and chopping it with a spatula until it is fully cooked and no longer pink. As the meat is cooking, cook the frozen ravioli according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  • Drain the accumulated grease from the pan with the sausage and set the sausage aside in a paper towel lined bowl. Reduce the heat under the pan just a bit. Add the butter and melt it slowly. Add the garlic to the melted butter in the pan and cook it for about 60 seconds until it is golden brown and fragrant. 
  • Whisk in the flour and cook it for a minute, lightly browning it. Add the chicken broth and the half-and-half, whisking to combine.
  • Turnup the heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat and let the pan simmer. Add the Parmesan cheese, whisking it well into the sauce. Add the ravioli and the tomatoes. Stir these gently to coat them in the sauce. Let the sauce come to a low simmer.
  • Stir in the basil leaves and the sausage.
  • Add the red pepper flakes. Turn the heat off and let the pan stand for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. 
  • Scoop the pasta into bowls to serve with a side salad and a crusty roll. 

Notes

Gardening is a relaxing hobby that is good for the body and soul. Many people in the Covid 19 pandemic of 2020 started gardening because it was an activity that could be done at home in the fresh air and sunshine. When summer activities and travel were off limits, gardening kept people busy. Vegetable gardening also provides delicious food, and during the early months of the pandemic when grocery store shelves were sparsely stocked, having food growing in your backyard was wonderful.
When people take up gardening, they are often shocked by how much better home-grown vegetables are than what are found on the grocery store shelves. Tomatoes have more flavor, peppers are more crisp, and herbs add more zing to recipes. There is no comparison in quality.
Just like other hobbies, experts recommend that beginners start with easy vegetables when they begin gardening. Tomatoes and basil are two of the easiest things to grow for a beginning gardener. Another thing that is great about growing these two easy plants is that they are incredibly prolific, particularly in the hottest part of the summer. If you have mounds of cherry tomatoes and basil coming in from your garden, this recipe is a great one to use up those veggies.
For the meat, you can use Italian sausage as called for in our recipe. However, if you don’t have Italian sausage on hand, you can substitute something else. You can add in plain ground pork, ground chicken, or ground beef. You may want to add a tablespoon of Italian seasoning to the sauce if you have to make this substitution. 
This recipe is so delicious that every member of your family will ask for seconds. It is perfect for a family dinner or for a dinner for guests. Add a side salad and a crusty dinner roll or a slice of garlic bread for a complete, delicious Italian inspired dinner.
Keyword basil, dinner recipes, Pasta, ravioli, Tomato, tomatoes

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