Growing up, my mom was always the health conscious one when it came to our family’s eating habits. As a result, we didn’t eat a lot of cream soups or sauces at home, so I obviously rebelled by ordering them as often as possible whenever we went out to eat. I don’t think I met a cream-based soup I didn’t like, and I adored pasta with tomato cream sauce.
Unfortunately, I no longer have the metabolism of a scrawny 12 year old, so I can’t eat clam chowder every day and expect to still fit in my pants. However, I recently had a little leftover sour cream and discovered that just a little bit adds a nice tang and rich texture to regular tomato sauce. Plus, a tablespoon of regular sour cream has roughly half the fat and calories of heavy cream, and you can also buy low fat or fat free versions.
Creamy Tomato Sauce
- 1 large (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Saute garlic until soft but not browned. Add sun dried tomatoes and cook one minute more. Add tomato paste and stir until the tomatoes and garlic are coated and fragrant.
2. Add the canned tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces. I like my sauce pretty chunky, so I usually break the tomatoes into halves or thirds. Bring sauce up to a gentle simmer. Add vinegar and sugar. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for 10 minutes, then taste again and re-season if necessary.
3. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Pour over hot pasta and top with basil and Parmesan.
Makes enough sauce for 4 generous servings. This sauce also keeps for a few days in the fridge and reheats easily.