Pasta with a Light Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce


The inspiration for this sauce came from Pioneer Woman’s creamy tomato sauce. I used her suggestion of canned tomato sauce instead of canned whole peeled tomatoes. Tomato sauce has more body than most other choices which is a good thing here.

From there, I veered off in my own direction, using light cream instead of heavy cream which most recipes suggest. A half cup of light cream is all that’s needed for a luscious sauce that’s neither too rich nor too heavy.

Delicate angel hair pasta tossed in a velvety-smooth tomato cream sauce with a flurry of grated Parmesan and fresh basil is the kind of meal that makes you wonder how something so easy can taste so unbelievably good. Thai basil is fresh and peppery against the lush sauce. Just a half a cup of light cream is all that’s needed for a luxurious texture. The brightness of the tomatoes shine through the mellow cream. There’s a classic balance of flavors, each one holding its own special place in the dish. This recipe produces the best creamy tomato sauce I’ve made so far. I hope you try it. I’d love for you to experience the joy of this super simple Italian supper. If you want to, you can stir in some shrimp into the sauce or some canned/jarred artichoke hearts, at the end of cooking. Cook the shrimp through and serve.
light tomato cream sauce recipe

Pasta with A Light Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe

Serves 4-6

Some Notes:

The wine adds another layer of flavor that I love but you can leave it out with good results.

Thai basil gives this simple, voluptuous pasta dish a unique, lively kick. Regular basil would be just fine too.

I turn to Muir Glen Tomato products for their fresh taste. With an elemental sauce like this one, use the best tomato sauce your budget can afford. You’ll be rewarded for it.

Stick to Italian pasta brands too. Sometimes I go for the fancy artisan pastas. But in this recipe I used Barilla brand, sold in most supermarkets. Fresh pasta would be wonderful too. It’s important not to overcook the angel hair. I usually take it out before the recommended time. It should still have a bite and not be a mushy mess. Thin spaghetti will work too. If you’re gluten free, pick your favorite brand. There are lots of good gluten free pastas out there now.

If you like the flavor of bell peppers in your sauce, add one red or green bell pepper and saute it with the onions.

This tomato sauce recipe has been featured on Top Inspired: Top 10 Healthy & Tasty Mediterranean Recipes  and   All For Women:  Healthy, Tasty & Easy Mediterranean Recipes


  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 15-ounce cans of Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce (see notes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced. I use a microplane zester to mince the garlic.
  • A drizzle of honey or a couple of pinches of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes.
  • 1/3 cup of red wine. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon. Use a wine that you’d drink.
  • 1/2 cup of light cream
  • A generous handful of fresh Thai basil or regular basil, torn or chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, basil or Italian seasoning. Rub it between your fingers when adding it to the sauce to release the flavor.
  • 2 dried bay leaves, optional. Remember to remove them from the sauce before serving
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb box of angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti cooked al dente, according to the package instructions. You can use regular pasta or gluten free.
  • Parmesan cheese and more Thai basil for serving (optional)


Saute the onions in some olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium pot over medium heat until tender. Once the onions are soft, add the oregano, wine, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaves, more pepper and a pinch of salt and a drizzle of honey or a few pinches of sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the flavors have softened and melded together. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and slowly stir in the light cream. Sprinkle with lots of freshly chopped basil. Toss the cooked pasta with some of the sauce. Serve individual portions of the pasta with sauce  topped with more fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


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