This is like sun dried tomato pesto, but it's creamy and the flavour of the sun dried tomatoes and basil is a lot more intense! I like to serve it hot, like other creamy pastas I make, but people I've given leftovers to tell me that they like it at room temperature too. This version has spinach tossed through it but it's also lovely with chicken, shrimp/prawns, roasted vegetables and even bacon!
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
3/4cup (tightly packed) sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped (Note 1) + more for garnish
1/2cupbasil leaves, lightly packed
1/4cupyoghurt or sour cream(optional) (Note 2)
1 3/4cupsmilk(I use low fat)
1tbsptomato paste(optional) (Note 4)
1/4cupparmesan cheese, finely grated
300gpasta of choice(I like penne/ziti)
1tbspoil from sun dried tomatoes
2garlic cloves, crushed
1small onion, finely diced (brown, white or yellow)
4cups (tightly packed) finely shredded fresh English spinach
To Serve (optional)
Fresh basil, finely shredded
Place the Creamy Sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust salt to your taste.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds, then add onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent and cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta of choice in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente (just cooked through but still firm). SCOOP out 1 mug of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Add the pasta into the skillet, then pour the Creamy Sauce in, all the spinach and about 1/2 cup of the pasta water (Note 5). Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce and to wilt the spinach. Cook, stirring gently, for about 2 minutes until the sauce is warmed through. Adjust salt to taste.
Use the remaining pasta water to get the sauce to the consistency you want.
Remove from the stove and serve immediately, with more parmesan cheese and basil if desired.
1. You can use sun dried tomatoes that come in oil, or even the ones that do not come in oil. Shake off excess oil if you are using the sun dried tomatoes that come in oil.2. The yoghurt/sour cream cuts through the richness a bit and is also a thickener. Without it, I find that the sauce is a wee bit too creamy. But this is optional. If you don't have yoghurt or sour cream on hand, a squeeze of lemon juice would suffice but to keep the balance of creaminess in the sauce, I would add more cream.3. If you want to indulge, feel free to increase the amount of cream in this and decrease the amount of milk by the same amount.4. The tomato paste is mainly for colour. It is a bit of a thickener as well, but it's not critical. So feel free to omit it if you want.5. The starchy water that the pasta was cooked in reacts with the oil in the Creamy Sauce when cooked over heat to magically transform into a glossy, silky sauce that clings to the pasta. This magic process is called emulsification and it's the secret to how Italians make simple pastas taste so gourmet!6. Nutrition per serving, assuming this serves 4.