the Best Paccheri Pasta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

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Paccheri pasta is a large, tubular pasta shape originating from Southern Italy, particularly Naples. Its size and texture make it perfect for holding onto rich sauces. One of the best ways to enjoy paccheri is in a creamy tomato sauce, where the pasta’s surface captures the smooth, flavorful sauce, creating a comforting and satisfying dish.

Why You’ll Love This Paccheri pasta:

  • Rich and Creamy: The combination of heavy cream and Parmesan cheese gives the tomato sauce a rich, velvety texture.
  • Hearty and Filling: Paccheri pasta’s large size makes each bite substantial and satisfying.
  • Simple and Elegant: Despite its simplicity, this dish has a sophisticated taste that can impress guests.
  • Versatile: This creamy tomato sauce can also be used with other pasta shapes, making it a versatile recipe to keep in your culinary repertoire.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz paccheri pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Add the paccheri pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
    • Drain the pasta and set aside, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. Prepare the Sauce:
    • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the Tomatoes:
    • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, stirring well to combine with the onion and garlic.
    • Add the dried oregano and basil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  4. Make it Creamy:
    • Stir in the heavy cream, mixing until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
    • Add the grated Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
    • If the sauce is too thick, add a little reserved pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.
  5. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
    • Add the cooked paccheri pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat the pasta evenly with the creamy tomato sauce.
    • Let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes to ensure the pasta absorbs some of the sauce’s flavor.
  6. Serve:
    • Transfer the pasta to serving plates or a large serving bowl.
    • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and extra Parmesan cheese if desired.
    • Serve immediately while hot.

Tips:

  • Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality crushed tomatoes and Parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the sauce thickens too much, use the reserved pasta water to thin it out to your liking.
  • Make Ahead: You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve. Just add a splash of cream or pasta water to loosen it up.

Enjoy your Paccheri Pasta in Creamy Tomato Sauce, a delightful and comforting meal that brings the taste of Italy to your table!

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