Spaghetti with Tomato Cream Sauce
Jazz up those boring spaghetti nights with this super easy, no-fuss cream sauce made completely from scratch!
Spaghetti and Thrifty ice cream. Yes, it’s a little weird. But I promise you, there’s a connection here.
See, I was fortunate enough to attend the California Milk Advisory Board Farm Tour several weeks back, but little did I know that I was going to be stepping into the happiest place on Earth: the Thrifty ice cream factory.
With loads of fresh ice cream everywhere, this place definitely trumps Disneyland, especially when cookies and cream is being made.
And by using 100,000-150,000 pounds of milk a day, you get this ice cream magic – unbelievably creamy and absolutely heavenly.
Don’t think I wasn’t going to take some ice cream home with me. If I lived any closer, I would’ve taken it all!
And the best part about the tour was definitely the freshly made mint chip ice cream. I just wanted to stuff my face in this entire tub.
So back to the tomato cream sauce – well, of course it has dairy! And with a simple homemade tomato sauce using pantry ingredients, you can doctor it up into the most heavenly cream sauce for all your pasta needs.
You can even throw in your favorite add-ins: grilled chicken, meatballs, sausage, etc. It’s up to you! Either way, this is one of those quick and easy weeknight meals you’ll want for the entire week. That and Thrifty ice cream for dessert, of course.
Spaghetti with Tomato Cream Sauce
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
- Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar.
- Stir in milk and heavy cream until well combined and heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.
Did you make this recipe?
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board. All opinions expressed are my own.
I’ve made this several times. If my kids are going to request a “type” of spaghetti, this is it. Love how easy it is to prep, but the sauce is incredible. I love the little bit of zip it gets from the balsamic vinegar. This is a great go-to recipe!
My favorite sauce. Easy to make & tastes delicious. I feel the milk/cream cuts the acidity of the tomatoes.
Wow! This is a delicious sauce! It’s definitely on my list of favorites! I did add a 1/2 pound of Italian sausage to it. The milk/cream combination really makes the sauce!!!
I halved recipe and made this for dinner… and the two of us finished the whole pot in one go! It was just so delicious.
I picked this recipe today as I have a basket of overripe tomatoes from the garden … I measured out the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes instead of using canned crushed ones. Will bookmark this recipe in my book and cook it again… it’s a keeper. Thanks!
This recipe was a hit, my family loved it. I admit I used to make spaghetti out of the jar stuff and I could not get my little one to eat it. She had no problem eating your spaghetti with tomato cream sauce. I followed the recipe to the “t”, but I did add meat to my sauce. Thanks! This recipe is going in my book!
Thanks for the recipe, I was trying to use a leftover can of tomatoe puree so this was perfect. I made this for myself so I cut the recipe in 1/4 and the portions worked perfectly even with cutting the recipe so much. Although, I will try this next time omitting the red chili flakes. It was still a lot of food for just me, more like a healthy portion for two ;). Here is the recipe cut in 1/4 just in case someone else wants to try.
* 1/4 pound spaghetti
* 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/4 onion, diced
* 1 (7-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* pinch dried oregano
* pinch dried parsley
* pinch crushed red pepper flakes
* Kosher salt and black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
* 3 tbsp cup milk
* 1 tbsp heavy cream
* 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
I just tried this recipe after finding it on pinterest.
I followed the recipe exactly other than i had to use whipping cream instead of heavy whipping cream because my grocery store was out. (not sure if that matters)
Im not big on spicy stuff (i have baby tastebuds lol) so if anyone else is the same way i would recommend a little less red pepper flakes.
Also, i love a lot of sauce w my noodles, & i felt like there wasnt enough sauce w the 1lb of noodles.
i mixed my noodles into the sauce (its just my preference when making spaghetti) so maybe i should have added the noodles little by little instead of dumping them all in.
For the milk, do you need to use Whole Milk or is 1% okay? Trying to make my shopping list 🙂 Thanks!
Whole milk would be best!
I love spaghetti with tomato cream sous because cook it very easy. Take the pasta (6-8), In a saucepan pour the water and wait until the boil. Boil spaghetti 3-5 minut. And this time, take the potatos, herbs and spices begining cooking the sause. 10 min and sause finish. Add sause to the spaghetti DINNER DONE !
This sauce is absolutely amazing. I made your drool-worthy Chicken Parmesean Bites to throw in with this dish and it tasted delicious! What a tasty combo. Thank you!
LOVE this recipe. Make it at least once a month. Simple & quick! Thanks for the recipe!!
Thanks for this recipe! I just made this and my family LOVED it!
Can I use fresh tomatoes? If so how would I do that, blanch first, peel and crush?
Yes, absolutely! Here is a great recipe to make crushed tomatoes using fresh tomatoes. Hope that helps!
How much meat can I add to this sauce. To make spaghetti and meat sauce.
Jackie, if you prefer more of a spaghetti and meat-type sauce, feel free to give this recipe a try: https://damndelicious.net/2013/11/08/slow-cooker-spaghetti-sauce/.
I tried this tonight . Loved the addition of the balsamic vinegar,. I have one question though. Isthe amount of cream and milk ccorrect? Your picture shows the sauce to be quite red and mine turned out a orangey pinky color. Didn’t look anything like yours, but it tasted very good.
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, Beth! And yes, the amounts are correct. The color difference can be attributed to lighting.
Looks delicious and wanted to try making it this weekend but I have a quick question: can I use fresh basil instead of dried? And if so, how much would be the equivalent to dry the basil? Thanks!
Yes, absolutely! The ratio for dry to fresh herbs is typically 1:3.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this sauce! I’ve made it 3x since my discovery! My husband can’t get enough! We absolutely adore your recipes! Perfect EVERY time!
Hi! This recipe looked so delicious! But when I poured it over my pasta, it wound up being really watery. Do you know how I can make sure the sauce stays thick and creamy? I’m new to cooking so I’d love to know what I did wrong! Thanks! 🙂
Krissy, did you use crushed tomatoes as indicated in the recipe?
The same thing happened to me. I used diced tomatoes instead of crushed. (figured tomatoes is tomatoes) i I didn’t drain them. Is that the reason?
Stephanie, it is really best to use crushed tomatoes.
Thanks for your response!
This was awful. I was concerned about the balsamic vinegar and milk combination. As I suspected when I added the milk it curdled. Big mess. Tasted ok but nothing special.
I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well. But I understand that failures and mishaps can happen, and with a little bit more information, we can troubleshoot what went wrong to have a successful turnaround next time.
Did you follow the recipe exactly as written without any substitutions? Also, the recipe calls for only 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. That’s a very small amount, and simply lends a little bit of extra flavor in the tomato sauce. But if you are not a fan of it, you can simply omit it. Also, if your milk curdled – which certainly shouldn’t be happening – I worry that your heat source may have been set too high.
I just wanted to share how AWESOME this was!!! I have made many different spaghetti sauces and this is by far the best! Thanks for all the great recipes! Can’t wait to try many more 🙂
Amazing pictures. They always leave me drooling.
Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the great recipes.
Ice cream and pasta?! Sign me up
I just wanted to mention, and I honestly I don’t know how you do it, I always end up clicking on the pictures for your food while browsing foodgawker. Clearly you have some type of sublminal hidden images or gypsie magic… well ok, maybe it’s just really tasty looking food. Anyways, another yummy looking recipe I’ll have to try out some time, thanks.
This is really delicious. I tried it last night and my husband and I really enjoyed it.
This looks amazing!
Just bought all the ingredients for it. If I was to make this into a vodka sauce, when would you recommend adding in that ingredient?
Doug, I recommend adding the vodka with the crushed tomatoes to give the alcohol a chance to cook off.
Just want to say, I really enjoy getting your recipes and love the ones I have tried so far. This creamy spaghetti sauce looks yummy too. My question is I notice you put the dairy in last, cook for 2 minutes then say serve immediately. Is there a reason for this, say if you need more time to prepare your dinner let the rest of the sauce simmer then add dairy right before serving? Or would it be okay to simmer with dairy until you are ready to serve? Also, would it be okay to freeze this sauce with the dairy? Thanks for taking the time to read this, and keep the yummies coming
I recommend adding the dairy prior to serving (or as indicated in the recipe). As for freezing, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing sauces that include dairy. Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.
Your pictures are beautiful! My mouth waters just looking at them.
Tomato cream sauce—mmmmm. I don’t think I have had that. It looks quite flavorful.
And of course easy.
Hahah at first I thought you were going to say that you used some of the ice cream as the cream in the sauce – phew!
That sounds like such a fun trip though 😀
That pasta looks fantastic, and a good tomato sauce can get you far, plus, you can use it in so many things, like lasagne or make it into a casserole too 😀 Thanks for the recipe, and I hope you’ve had a lovely week so far 🙂 x
sounds so simple and delish! I’m just wondering if it would be okay to substitue the heavy cream to half and half to cut down some calories.
Yes, of course – although you may lose out a little bit on the extra creamy goodness.
Lucky you!!! I love Thrifty ice cream, I grew up enjoying that. When the Thrifty Drugstore was bought out, we were all worried that we would never eat our favorite ice cream again but luckily the new store did carry the ice cream.
The spaghetti looks perfect–simple, which is the best thing sometimes, especially if you want something comforting.
I am making this tonight! I may add some ground beef but nothing else, as your recipes
are always perfect AS IS!!
Is Kosher salt equal to table salt in portions?
This sauce looks great!
Table salt should work just fine, although I recommend adding to taste.
Kosher Salt isn’t as salty as table salt, according to the Barefoot Contessa, so be careful.
I want to stuff my face in that tub of mint ice cream too – but alas, I am lactose intolerant 🙁
Love the tour though – there’s a dairy near me that conducts tours of its farm – lets you see the cows being hearded and all – such a fun experience. Btw, this spaghetti and that sauce look damn delicious! 🙂
I love your site and love the recipes. They are always so easy.. The only problem I have is with your instructions to cook the pasta first, drain it and then go on to the sauce. It is much better to start the sauce first and then cook the pasta as the sauce is simmering. This way the pasta does not get cold and dry out while you are waiting for the sauce to cook. In the case if the One-Pot Meals I can see the exception, but not in this one. Just my opinion.
Angela, you can cook the pasta first or second – it really doesn’t make much of a difference. But please feel free to do what works best for you.
Wow! This looks amazing and luckily, I’ve all the ingredients on hand! You are my go to when meal planning. Every recipe I’ve tried, and they have been many, has been delicious!
Thank you for sharing!
I have always been a little hesitant about homemade sauces but this one seems super simple enough! Definitely going to try this. PINNED =)
I could totally not be trusted in that factory! I’d want every carton off the line 🙂 Perfect dessert treat to round out a spaghetti dinner!