Creamy Sundried Tomato Rigatoni

I was really craving a good creamy pasta and planned on cooking up something special for Sunday Supper. Honestly, I thought about this pasta for 4 straight days. In the end, it was definitely worth it. I was kinda making it up as I went so I’ll note a few adjustments to make in the future, but overall it was a delicious and comforting dish that hints of springtime in it’s light sweetness.

Start by cooking 1 box of rigatoni (1 lb) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, sauté two shallots and about 1/3 c. sundried tomatoes, both roughly chopped, with 2 cloves minced garlic in olive oil. Once they’ve softened, add them to a food processor. When you’ve got the shallots and sundried tomatoes finely chopped, add them back to the pan and add in 1 c. half and half and a heavy shake of paprika and some salt. Stir it all together and let it come to a boil. Quickly reduce to a simmer and add grated parmesan. Start with 1/2 cup of parm and add if you need more. When the pasta finishes, reserve some pasta water, drain, and then toss the sauce and pasta together. I added in one full bunch of spinach here and let it wilt in the heat of the pasta. Add some pasta water, bit by bit, to get that sauce to the right consistency. Because the shallots and sundried tomatoes are sweet, you could totally balance this out by garnishing with red chilis sliced suuuuper thin for some heat and some fresh basil to remind you that it’s springtime.

  • You could add the spinach directly to the sauce while it’s simmering if you want it extra wilty. Since I was using a heftier pasta shape, I wanted the spinach to be a bit more toothsome.
  • I did not use my food processor where I indicated above and, instead, used an immersion blender to purée the shallots and sundried tomatoes after having added the half and half. You’ll get a much creamier sauce if you take the extra step and use the food processor to chop and then add the half and half.

I wanted a creamy comforting pasta and that’s exactly what I got. I don’t actual sundried tomatoes but I do love their flavor so I really enjoy when they’re seamlessly blended into an aioli or a sauce like this. The chilis and basil are lovely garnishes that take this pasta to the next level, but if all you’re looking for is some good old fashioned comfort food with pantry ingredients, this’ll do ya just fine. The end result is similar to a penne vodka, we just used different ingredients to get us there. And if you don’t love a vodka sauce, I don’t want to love you.