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Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

 

Want to create an Olive Garden-worthy pasta dish from scratch without spending hours in the kitchen? Here it is! Homemade Alfredo sauce can be made in just minutes, jazz it up with some seasonal add-ins (tomato and basil are the perfect pair), toss with whole wheat refrigerated tortellini, and serve.

What a delicious combination!

I love recipes that can be adapted or have multiple uses, so I came up with a few for you. If you have a little extra time, you could swap out the store bought tortellini for homemade ravioli (adapt from Get Real or here). Another great addition is grilled or sauteed chicken. Finally, this sauce makes AMAZING pizza. You can use leftovers (or intentionally make leftover) or half this recipe to make enough sauce for two medium pizzas. Top Whole Wheat Herbed Pizza Dough or our regular Homemade Pizza Dough with about 1/2 cup of this sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite veggies (fresh baby spinach is my favorite). And don’t forget, this sauce is freezable, so you can make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions to use as desired.

Herbed Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce, Spinach, and Onion

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

Author/Source:

Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com, adapted from Southern Living

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Alfredo Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (plus extra for garnish)
  • 0.33 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 18 ounces refrigerated whole wheat tortellini

Directions:

To prepare Alfredo sauce, melt butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour. Gradually add milk, whisking to combine as you go. I generally add it about 1/2 cup at a time, whisk, then wait for the milk to heat up and thicken a bit before adding more. Once all the milk has been added and it’s hot {do not boil!} add the cream cheese. Whisk to combine. Heat the sauce back up before adding the Parmesan cheese. Simmer this until all is melted, and mixed well. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, white wine, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Cook just until heated through. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Gently stir into tomato basil sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with extra basil.

Freezing Directions:

To freeze, prepare sauce as directed above. Freeze in quart size bag. Freeze pasta according to package directions or purchase just before serving day. To serve: Thaw and reheat sauce. Cook pasta according to package directions. Combine and serve as directed above.

Servings: 4

 

**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

5 Responses to “Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta”

  1. Lisa S says:

    I’m trying to plan for the Whole Foods July menu next week, but need to find a good brand of, or substitute for, the tortellini. The only brand I can find ingredients for online is Buitoni (http://www.buitoni.com/Product-Category/Tortellini.aspx#/tortellini) and all of their tortellini has ingredients that we can’t have (hidden forms of MSG).

    I suspect no matter what brand, if it is cheese filled, we won’t be able to eat it, because to get a rich cheese flavor almost everyone adds maltodextrin, yeast extract, or other ingredients. Any suggestions for other pasta this would work well with? Maybe I could use some sort of a shell and mix with chicken and cheese? Or even simpler, add some roasted chicken breast into the dish with a plain pasta?

  2. Lisa S says:

    Thanks, Kim! We react to a bunch of “hidden MSG” ingredients (maltodextrin, yeast extract are two biggies) so reading labels is second nature now. Pasta is almost always safe but things with cheese flavor are usually an issue. But I’ve seen references to Whole Foods (the store) carrying a frozen version, so I’ll look and report back.

    I suspect plain pasta or making my own are the best options, and I’ll try making my own someday, when I’m not trying to do the whole menu.

  3. Amanda says:

    My husband is gluten free, so I usually replace the pasta with spaghetti squash. You can roast it beforehand and then just throw it in the pan to heat it up. Even my young kids love it. I also use arrowroot in place of the flour in the sauce for anyone else who is gluten free:)

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