This cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce is weeknight comfort at its finest.
cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce

This is going to sound extremely strange coming from a food blogger who screams the virtues of COOKING FROM SCRATCH! AT HOME! from her rooftop (perhaps literally – sorry neighbors), but weeknight cooking makes me cringe.

I mean, those nights when you come home from work later than intended and still want to go to the gym and get your life together and eat dinner before midnight.


And I don’t even have kids.


I try to do most of my cooking on the weekend because that just seems like the easiest way to deal, but no matter how many meals I prepare ahead of time, by the time the middle of the week rolls around I find myself back in the kitchen racing against the clock to make something edible before my favorite 7:45PM Zumba class.



THEN I stumbled across this new pasta favorite recipe from Annie’s Eats and, I don’t know. It makes life easier.

Sweet and caramelized roasted tomatoes mixed into a pot of quick baked cheesy pasta comfort. I am down for that any day.

The roasted tomatoes do take some time in the oven but (a) you can make them ahead of time (like during that weekend prep we were talking about) or (b) you can throw them in the oven when you set the water to boil and take them out whenever you’re ready to toss them into the pot before its final bake. Mayyyybbbbeeee they won’t have roasted for the full 30-40 minutes, but they’ll still be fabulous. I can attest to it.


Bring it on weeknights.

We are officially ready for you.

Cheesy Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
This cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce is weeknight comfort at its finest.
Yield: 6 servings
For the oven roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pint tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar
For the pasta
  • 1 lb gemelli
  • 1 (28 oz.) can peeled whole tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 oz baby kale
  • 8 oz mozzarella, cubed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Minced fresh basil, to finish
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain well.
  4. Raise oven temperature to 400F.
  5. Put the canned tomatoes in a food processor or blender and pulse until mostly smooth.
  6. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter until melted. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, salt, and black pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant and tomato paste starts to brown, about 1 minute. Pour in the blended tomatoes and baby kale and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 6-8 minutes, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and stir in the cream.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked pasta, mozzarella, and oven roasted tomatoes. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve topped with the basil.
Recipe from Annie's Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe


Bring on the pasta!

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Pasta with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream

pasta with tomato-peach sauce

Pasta with Tomato-Peach Sauce

pasta with fresh corn pesto

Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto

From Around the Web:

Hummus Pasta Salad from The Baker Mama

Cheesy Broccoli and Pepper Baked Orzo from Oh My Veggies

Summer Caprese Pasta Salad from Hip Foodie Mom

Thai Coconut Noodle Salad from Foodiecrush

Pasta Verde with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette from Ciao Chow Bambina


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46 Responses to Cheesy Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

  1. That creamy cheesy sauce sounds totally right up my alley. O man..I am getting really hungry..

  2. Love that you added some greens. And then there is the cream … booya!

  3. Fortunately I have leftover pasta for my lunch today – othewise I would be so jealous!

  4. I concur, weeknight cooking can be super tough! I’m glad to have a slow cooker, stir fries, and pasta dishes like this to help me cook on busy weeknights.

  5. Is this your way of teasing me with pasta while you’re in Italy? Because this sounds delicious, but I have a feeling you’re having a much better time in the land of pasta.

  6. Johanna GGG says:

    pasta to the rescue yet again – I want to experiment with the stuff but I have a child and a husband who want the same old same old – wonder if I could sneak this by them dressed up as the same old same old tomato sauce – looks great

  7. Lynn says:

    Same here – that’s why I make a dinner salad almost every night of the week. But this looks pretty easy – will try!

  8. Ok I love the greens in this girl! My boys are obsessed with pasta!

  9. I feel you – I always wonder what the heck I’m going to do when I have kids! How do parents do it?? Loving how delicious and comforting this summer meal looks!

  10. Pasta is one of my go-to meals for weeknights too. This really looks like the perfect bowl of comfort food!

  11. Lori Rice says:

    A big ditto on the weeknight cooking! Once I started cooking more for the day job, I have a really hard time enjoying my evenings in the kitchen, too! This looks so good. Definitely going on the list!

  12. elly says:

    I’m with you on the weeknight cooking. I do it because I sort of have to, but it’s become WAY harder since we moved and have less time. This looks creamy and cheesy and pretty much perfect for any day of the week.

  13. Anne says:

    This looks lovely and complicated! I’m glad it’s not the latter though because I’m horrible at cooking :/

  14. Pam says:

    My kind of comfort food. Roasted tomatoes always make me swoon.

  15. This looks incredible! So cheese and lovely tomato flavor. Pinned!

  16. Kate says:

    Pasta is definitely my go-to for a quick weeknight meal.

  17. Eileen says:

    This pasta sounds fantastic! Quick and simple definitely works for me, foodblogger cred notwithstanding. The whole busy weeknight phenomenon is what makes me stock my freezer with all the soup and curry in the land…and hearty pasta dishes like this too!

  18. Daniela says:

    Looks so tempting and creamy- I’m hungry now.
    The colors are lovely, beautiful red and green.

  19. grace says:

    it has come to my attention only recently that the combination of basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes is simply outstanding, so i’d be a fan of this. oh, yes.

  20. I’d eat this any night of the week and twice on Sunday!

  21. Oh, delicious – am so yearning for lovely summer tomatoes – it is cold down here in NZ:-)

  22. cheri says:

    Love that the tomatoes are roasted, sounds delicious!

  23. This sounds amazing. I like that it sounds quite easy to make and looks so yummy!

  24. Hotly Spiced says:

    This certainly does look like great comfort food. I think it’s great that you’re so super-organised you can get your cooking done on the weekend. I have a couple of nights a week where I come home after 7pm and it’s always good to have a meal ready prepared. Tonight is one of those nights and we’re also having pasta! xx

  25. I totally agree with you about weekday meals. But this looks perfect!! I definitely want to try this sometime!

  26. I love pasta dishes like this for a Sunday night when I don’t feel like cooking 🙂

  27. It looks so yummy and tempting

  28. Agness says:

    It would be a perfect dinner for my boyfriend. He loves pasta and cheese and tomatoes!

  29. Oh man, I am really hungry now. This reminded me of something my mum would make us when we were little and she didn’t have a lot of time.

  30. Oh goodness.Those oven-roasted tomatoes just make my heart happy. Also uhhh all that cheese and cream carby goodness obviously. 😉

  31. Love your pasta recipes, Joanne! This looks divine – oven roasted tomatoes are literally the best food ever! Pinning to try soon!

  32. I hear ya girl on coming home on a weeknight wanting something ASAP! And you’re right, no matter how much I cook over the weekends, it’s never enough! This pasta looks like the perfect nourishment after Zumba. And ugh, it’s been far too long since I’ve gone to a Zumba class! I need my Reggaeton fix!!!

  33. mira says:

    Gorgeous! Definitely a pasta I should make!

  34. Yum! You are a fabulous cook! Love a chest pasta anytime – and love you added in some Kale too!

  35. weeknight cooking IS hard. we moved, and now my commute is just a teensy bit longer but it seriously makes a big difference in my desire to cook on weeknights. looks like a great pasta dish…pasta is definitely my weeknight dinner go-to. 🙂

  36. Um yes, well I thought I knew what I was making for dinner and now I’ve changed my mind. It will definitely be this. I just got some fresh tomatoes from the farm. I’m going to try it out with coconut milk instead of heavy cream, coconut oil instead of butter and maybe a decadent cashew cheese. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  37. All you have to say is cheese and pasta and I am so there Joanne lol. Seriously, I am so there. This looks amazing. I love adding great pasta recipes to my recipe box.

    Kia / The House of KTS

  38. I love this kind of simple, flavor packed recipe. It’s the kind of thing that keeps me ‘cooking from scratch’ when I’m a little burned out on cooking.

  39. Veronica says:

    Oh this looks like a plate of comfort, and I just love that pasta shape!! Now I have a name for it and shall seek it out.

  40. easypeasy says:

    My mouth won’t stop watering! I love to see all your fun recipes 🙂

  41. Jessie says:

    This dish looks amazing, Joanne! I know what you mean about weeknight cooking — leisurely weekend cooking is so much easier. This dish is the perfect warm weather comfort food — filling, but still light 🙂

  42. Kelly says:

    Love me some easy comfort pasta meals during the week. This looks incredible – those juicy tomatoes are totally calling my name!

  43. Zainab says:

    Urghh I feel the weeknight dinner struggle too. Especially by Wednesday it all falls apart. Thanks for this!!

  44. Sarah says:

    OK seriously the struggle IS real! I do not think that most humans who work are able to actually cook from scratch on a daily basis. And no matter how many blog articles I read that say “perfect for a busy wednesday night” no. just no. But I WILL look into making this on a weekend. It looks so awesome and includes my favorite food groups of carbs and cheese. YUM 🙂

  45. […] Cheesy Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce via Eats well with others […]

  46. Katie says:

    With you entirely on the week night struggle – the freezer is my friend! This looks so good 🙂

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