Creamy 5-Star Tomato Parmesan Pasta for Two

This super easy and sophisticated tomato parmesan pasta recipe is perfect for date nights or when entertaining. It tastes as good as it is simply to make, and will leave your guests super impressed. just a few ingredients and you’re good to go!

How about those days when you have last-minute friends or family coming over for dinner, or you just feeling like having a fancy date night with your significant other and popping open a bottle of wine, but you’re too exhausted or busy (or maybe just lazy) to make something elaborate? Well see below for the perfect, super simple and quick, few ingredient, tomato parmesan pasta.

We’ve all been there. And there’s probably a reason we all google pasta recipes in those circumstances, and it’s because the Italian cuisine is so wonderfully and conveniently suited for all kinds of occasions. Hell, go ahead and make this recipe for yourself too. You’ll be eating this till you’re absolutely sick of pasta (if that’s even possible).

But once you see how unbelievably simple and quick this recipe is, yet how sophisticated and fancy it looks, you’ll need to look no further. Another great thing is how easily you can customize it to your taste, or make it vegan if you like. It’s also meat-free, so if you’re a vegetarian like me who never has meat in the house, this tomato parmesan pasta will certainly not dissapoint your meat-eating friends.

Few-Ingredient

The best part of this recipe is the ingredient list. Almost all of these are items you will likely have in your pantry. You might need to go grab some parmesan or fresh basil, but if you’re like me, they’re a staple in your fridge.

You’ll need:

  • Canned or fresh tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan
  • Basil (preferably fresh)
  • Milk or Cream
  • And of course, pasta. Can’t have a pasta recipe without it.

How to make the Tomato Sauce

I use my Simple Tomato Sauce for Pizzas and Pasta, and like the name implies, this recipe is really so easy to make and tasty. In all honesty, tomato sauce is not complex, nor should it be. A lot of the recipe depends on your taste, so don’t hesitate tasting and adjusting to your preference.

I make tomato sauce from before and then keep it refrigerated for whenever I need it. If using canned tomatoes, even if you’re just cooking for 2, just make the sauce with the entire can and save it in your fridge for the next time. I always prefer homemade tomato sauce in pasta and pizza!

If using fresh tomatoes, you might need to blanch and peel them if you don’t want there to be skin in your sauce. I rather like the skin so I just cut up my tomatoes into quarters.

See the full recipe for my Simple Tomato Sauce for Pizzas and Pasta to learn more about how to make it and have it ready for whenever a pasta or pizza craving comes on.

That’s it. There’s nothing difficult and even the most beginner of cooks can nail this. Don’t forget to garnish with some fresh basil leaves and some parmesan, serve with a side of homemade garlic bread and bon appetit.

Let me know how this super-easy, 5-star, creamy tomato and parmesan pasta turns out for you guys! Post in the comments below or share a picture on instagram or twitter with the hashtag #hungrybyayesha

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Pasta

You'll leave your dinner date in awe with this super simple and incredibly delicious pasta recipe.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: creamy, date night, fancy dinner, few ingredients, low calorie, parmesan, pasta, quick, romantic meal, tomato, under 400 calories
Servings: 2
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Ayesha Bilal

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • ½ 14.5 oz canned tomatoes (whole peeled or crushed) (200g) or 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes
  • ½ medium onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves (10g)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan or pecorino (50g)
  • ¼ cup milk or cream (60g)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ½ lbs dry short-shaped pasta (225-250g)
  • 1 tbsp fresh goat's cheese (optional)
  • grated parmesan (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

  • Finely dice the garlic cloves. Roughly quarter the onion as well as the tomatoes, if using fresh. In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes and onion and pulse till chunky or smooth, depending on your preference.
  • Stack up the basil leaves and roll them tightly length-wise. Then slice into ribbons.

MAKING THE PASTA

  • Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-low heat, add the diced garlic and fry till it starts becoming golden brown.
  • Add the tomato and onion blend, and the chopped basil leaves. Let simmer on medium-low heat for at least 15 minutes, or till sauce thickens.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook your pasta al dente for 10 minutes (or according to package instructions). Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water for later. Drain the pasta when cooked al dente.
  • Once sauce appears thickened, add the milk or cream, parmesan and goat's cheese (or any other cheese you might be using), and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir till the cheeses have melted and sauce is creamy. If sauce appears too thick, add a splash of the reserved pasta water.
  • Add sauce to pasta and toss gently to combine. Again, if sauce is too thick and does not coat all the pasta evenly, add some more of the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time to thin it out just enough.
  • Serve with some extra grated parmesan and basil leaves on top for presentation.

Notes

  1. Make it vegan: use non-dairy milk and vegan cheeses for an equally easy and tasty vegan dinner.
  2. Cheese: while parmesan is a must, it can be substituted with Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano. You can add extra cheese that melts easily in addition. Smoked cheeses, soft fresh goat’s cheese, cheddar etc. are all good additions.
  3. Storage: any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container. 
  4. Sauce storage: if using a standard 14.5 oz can of tomatoes, it is recommended you double this ingredient amounts for the tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil stated in this recipe and make sauce in surplus. It can easily be stored in the fridge for several weeks and used in all kinds of pasta and pizza recipes. 
Ayesha Bilal
Ayesha Bilal

A 25 year expat, living currently in Turkey, and living my happiest life exploring the world, bit by bit, with my favorite travel buddy, and my partner, Argun. Follow my travel across England on FellowPrimo, and check out delicious recipes and the best spots to grab a bite around the world.

Articles by Ayesha Bilal