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Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Bow Tie Pasta

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

Can I tell you where I got the idea for this recipe? On TV from a Campbell’s soup commercial! I’m not using their canned soup (too salty and preserved for my style) but the final photo of the dish looked so good. People often ask me where I get ideas and this is part of the answer - everywhere! I write down ingredients or names for the dish, then work backwards in the kitchen to test my own version.


  • 112 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 12 package Farfalle Pasta (usually 1 pound box)
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 12 pint Heavy Cream
  • 14 teaspoon Nutmeg (if not freshly ground, use even less)
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper (optional, and to taste)
  • 5 ounces Baby Spinach
  • 6 ounces Parmesan Cheese

Cooking Instructions


    Add about 1 Tablespoon of salt (leave a teaspoon or so aside for seasoning the sauce). Cook pasta according to package directions. When it’s al dente, drain it, but scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water first. Set aside. Don’t rinse the pasta but it can hang out in a colander until you’re ready to sauce it.


    Thinly slice the onion into half moon shaped rings. Mince the garlic. In a large saucepan with tall sides, or a pot, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until they’re translucent and fragrant.


    Add the pint of cherry tomatoes and turn the heat up to high. Keep your eye on the pan, you don’t want to burn the onions, but you do want a little color on the tomatoes. Stir occasionally and reduce back down to medium after about 4-5 minutes when the tomatoes are juicy looking and maybe have even popped a bit.


    Meanwhile, either finely mince or blend the sun dried tomatoes. If blending, use ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid to puree it; if mincing, start with a knife, then add them to a bowl with the pasta liquid and mash a bit with a fork. Add this to the pan and let it sizzle and simmer for about 1 minute to reduce.

  • 5. CREAM

    To the pan, slowly add the cream while stirring. You want to go slow and steady to warm the cream so it doesn’t curdle.

    Next add the nutmeg and black pepper and about ½ teaspoon of salt.

    Simmer for about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken up.


    Toss in the pasta and toss to coat. Add the (clean) baby spinach and keep tossing until it’s wilted. If the sauce is too thick for your preference, you can add more of the pasta cooking water about 1 Tablespoon at a time.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve in deep bowls with lots of parmesan cheese over top.

    *Leftovers taste great but heat them slowly or the cream will separate. A non-stick sauté pan is great for reheating, but if you microwave it, just do it in 30 second bursts.

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    use your favorite GF pasta or make this with zucchini noodles
    cashew cheese would be delicious. You may need more pasta water, and you can even stir some of the cashew and pasta water together before adding to make a cream-like consistency Alternatively, just add about 1 cup of pureed tomatoes instead of cream to make an all tomato version. Omit parmesan garnish
    half and half would work, but less than that and you won’t get a thick enough sauce. You could whisk in about 1 cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream instead, but do it off the heat, after the pasta is tossed with the tomatoes and spinach. Add a little at a time slowly to create the sauce
    high quality, oil packed are best but if you hate their flavor either omit and consider doubling the cherry tomatoes, or use pesto instead for a green version
    can serve it without and put a veggie on the side. Shredded kale, chopped chard, escarole, or even arugula would work well
    leave some pasta on the side for them and possibly some cherry tomatoes raw if they prefer that. You can add extra cheese into the sauce, with or without sun dried tomatoes, to make it more mac and cheesy
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