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creamy roasted tomato basil pasta

I apologize for not posting for a while, but I have a legitimate excuse this time, so please hear me out.  See I have this medical condition...

It's called spring fever.

Let me elaborate.  It's something between a head cold and a rash.  Just like a head cold, I feel lazy as ever.  Book report? Heck no.  Clean my desk? Yeah right. Like a rash, I can't stop itching.  Itching to go outside.

In the winter time, I have nothing better to do than make fifty blueberry muffins and photograph them from different angles.   Now that it's 80-degrees, with sunbeams and clear skies, it's been a real struggle to get my butt in the kitchen.  (Let alone whip out my DSLR).  It's nothing personal, I swear, my history book feels neglected as well, my elliptical machine could use some love, and my hair could really use some deep conditioning.

Alas, all I want to do is slip on my shorts, run out the door with nothing but my house key, and go exploring.  That being said, at this time of year there's nothing less appealing than slaving over the stove for hours preparing dinner.  I've officially kissed all of my roux, stews, and marinades good-bye until the October boredom sets in. 

Lately, I've been coming home late, opening the windows, turning on some breezy music, and whipping up some sinfully easy (and delicious dinners).  The goal is for me to be in and out of the kitchen before the sun sets.  There's really nothing quite like flopping over in the sun after eating a gigantic bowl of cheesy pasta.

This pasta is on the table in less than 30 minutes.  Using roasted tomatoes adds an extra smoky touch (that just gets me even more psyched for BBQ season).  Cheese. Ease. A gentle summer breeze... Talk about instant gratification.  Who said a girl can't have it all.

This is classic, good, old comfort food, that doesn't require arugula.

With love,

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup basil, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 10-12 ounces fusilli pasta (or any good pasta shape for holding this rich sauce)
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, start the sauce.
  3. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook one more minute.
  5. Add flour to onion mixture and stir to combine. Let cook another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Slowly add half and half and then the milk, stirring continuously.
  7. Add tomatoes then cook another 7-10, stirring often, to let sauce thicken.
  8. While the sauce cooking, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
  9. With an immersion blender, puree sauce until your desired consistency. I left a few chunks, but wanted my sauce pretty smooth.
  10. Add basil and Parmesan and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper, to your liking
  11. If sauce is too thick, add about 1/3 cup of the pasta water to thin it out, if you feel that is needed.
  12. Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine.
  13. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy! 
Adapted from Greens N' Chocolate
© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.


  1. This pasta looks like pure delicious comfort!

    1. It totally is! It reminds me of your brown butter mac and cheese (equally easy, delicious, and naughty ;)

  2. Oh my gosh, my problem as well! I can. not. wait. for shorts season. Spriiiingggg

    1. It's already shorts season where I live! 80 degrees baby!!!

  3. I honestly love pasta so much, it's the saviour for quick and delicious teas! I love your pasta shape, I've never seen it before. I have a question about the recipe, what's half and half? (I've never heard it used in England before)
    Thank you, from Emily xxx

    1. Thanks! The pasta shape is called fusilli, isn't it fun?! Half and half is a mixture of equal parts milk and heavy whipping cream -- if you can't find it at your grocer, just mix together half milk and half cream.

  4. yum yum yum! i'm going to make this for dinner tomorrow (: looks soo good. xxx

  5. Spring fever is so real, and it's the worst when it's 70 and I'm writing papers and studying for finals! However, this sounds amazing, and I love that pasta shape. For whatever reason, this sauce reminds me of Pat & Oscar's Tomato Fredo, and that's soooo good, so clearly I need to try this, because it's probably even better. Pinned!

    1. I know the feeling, why do they put finals in the best time of the year. It's torturous. I've never been to Pat and Oscars, is that a local restaurant? And thanks for pinning :)

  6. I love this! Stunning pictures, and I love creamy pastas. It's quite weird actually, it's currently fall in Australia, and it's getting more chilly! So I'm quite jealous that you have all the nice warm weather.

    1. That's so funny that the seasons are flipped! Do you have finals now or in the spring?

  7. You captured EXACTLY how I've been feeling these past few weeks! My blog dashboard has been sadly neglected, but I just can't even think about it when there's sun to be soaked up and gorgeous warm night air to walk around in. I'm kind of sad to see my elaborate winter soup/stews go, but this pasta looks like an AMAZING way to transition to summer! You are a pasta genius :)

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a bad case of spring fever. I'm getting back in the swing of things though :) Thanks for the compliment :)

  8. This dish is perfect for welcoming spring. Tomatoes and basil leaves have never looked so heavenly.

    1. Thank you! It's warm comfort food that isn't trapped in winter :)

  9. Oh it looks SOOOO DELICIUOS! I can't wait to try it! :) How many does it serves? :)

  10. I have been reading your blog for a while now, and while I absolutely love your recipes I just wanted to tell you that you write beautifully and could blow some older, 'professional' bloggers, out of the water! Keep it coming please

    1. Thank you so much! This comment made me smile. I have been working a lot on my writing and really enjoy writing on Cannella Vita. Please stop by again soon :) E


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