Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce

April 13, 2022

Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Let’s talk a minute about “pasta al dente”.
The literal Italian translation is “to the tooth”. Figuratively, it means that pasta should be cooked just until it offers a bit of resistance when bitten into. It must be firm, not soft or overcooked and definitely not mushy.
A good rule of thumb is to read the cooking instructions (cooking times vary for different types of pasta) and a set time for two minutes before the recommended cooking time.
At this point check pasta for doneness by cutting a piece in half to see a cross section; there should be a thin core at the center that appears slightly more opaque. If it’s so, it’s time to drain your pasta “al dente”.

Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce
Another rule that I learned over the years about cooking pasta is that the cooking water must be generously salted. Not just a pinch of salt, more like a handful. It should taste like the sea. This is necessary to season the pasta, because bland pasta is the worst.
Finally you should always mix the pasta with sauce and a glass of reserved cooking water together in a large pan and cook for a minute over medium heat, stirring gently the pasta until it’s coated with sauce. That’s the way to roll.

Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce
Anyways we are going to use all these techniques in making these amazing Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce.
Here is another kids favorite. A delicious, creamy, hearty pasta meal that’s easy enough for a busy weeknight, but elegant and tasty enough to serve for when you have guests.
My creamy tomato sauce is a luxurious mix of olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, and cream (you can also use half & half if you want) that you can whip up in 10 minutes flat.
Some call it pink sauce because we’re combining cream and tomato sauce. However, this creamy tomato sauce is a lighter version of the traditional pink sauce because of the fairly small amount of cream to tomato sauce ratio. It’s still creamy and delicious and if made with whole wheat pasta, pretty healthy too.

Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce
Whole Wheat Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce                                                                  Print this recipe!

Serves 5

1 lb (453 gr) whole wheat penne pasta (or any other shape you like)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Chopped fresh parsley
Grated parmesan cheese, to your taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until fragrant.
Keep an eye on the garlic the whole time, you don’t want it to brown or it will turn bitter (use the smallest burner you have if necessary).
Add tomato sauce and salt and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
Add heavy cream and give a good stir. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well in a colander, reserving one small glass of cooking water.
Return the skillet to the stove over medium heat, add cooked pasta and cooking water and stir for a couple of minutes until it’s well coated with the sauce.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, and serve immediately!

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 305 calories, 12 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fat.


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