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Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

19 minsServes 4Ingredients:400g of rigatoni1 tbsp olive oil50g butter4 garlic cloves, finely diced1 tsp fennel seeds1 tbsp smoked paprika⅓ cup of tomato paste1 tsp dried chilli flakes1 tbsp chipotles in adobo200g sour cream1/4 cup parmesan cheese + extra to garnish1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp pepper
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Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

Serves 4| Ready in 19 mins
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This creamy tomato pasta with a hint of smokeyness and a glorious hum of chilli, is your new weeknight go-to pasta that is so easy, delicious and comes together in about 20 minutes.

Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

This dish has gotten me out of many dinner jams. Why is it so good? It’s an overtly morish creamy tomato pasta with a hint of chilli, made out of pantry and fridge staples. Nothing fancy, just a few simple ingredients (you probably have them right now). Garlic, fennel seeds, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, rich tomato paste, chipotles in adobo (not necessary but yum) sour cream and parmesan come together to make a simple dish that really delivers on flavour. I’ve cooked it on cosy winter nights, I’ve also cooked it during a heat wave, it’s that good, and that much of a mealtime lifesaver.

What you need to make Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

A group of ingredients including dried rigatoni, tomato paste, chipotle, sour cream, parmesan cheese, butter, garlic and seasonings
A good pasta to let the sauce ooze through the tubes, but you could use almost any.
Adds richness and a velvety texture.
Infuses savory aroma and flavor.
Fennel seeds
Imparts a subtle, aniseed-like undertone.
Smoked paprika
For a smoky, mildly spicy essence.
Tomato paste
The tomato flavour base
Chilli flakes
Adds heat and a touch of spice.
Chipotles in adobo
Provides smoky and spicy notes.
Sour cream
Adds creaminess and a tangy twist.
Parmesan cheese
Offers a nutty, savory umami flavor.
Salt and pepper
Essential for seasoning and balancing flavors.

How to make Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

Bubbling pot of pasta
1. Cook the pasta

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water to season the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente (cooked but still firm to the bite). Once cooked, reserve 2 cups of pasta water, drain the pasta in a colander and set it aside.

Garlic cooking in butter
2. Saute garlic

In a large pan, heat the butter over medium heat until the butter melts and starts to sizzle. Add the diced garlic to the pan and sauté it gently for a couple of minutes until it becomes fragrant and slightly golden in colour.

Tomato Paste added to butter and garlic
3. Add spices and tomato Paste

Sprinkle the fennel seeds and smoked paprika into the pan with the garlic. Stir the spices for about 30 seconds to release their flavors. Add the tomato paste and chipotle to the pan and mix it well with the garlic and spices, creating a flavourful base for the sauce

Sour cream added to tomato pasta sauce
4. Add sour cream

Turn the heat right down to low, add pasta water and spoon in the sour cream and blend it with the other ingredients in the pan until you get a creamy and well-combined mixture.

A simmering tomato sauce
5. Simmer the Sauce

Gently simmer on low and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pan and ensure all the flavours meld together.

Parmesan added to tomato pasta sauce
6. Season and add pasta water

Just before the pasta finishes cooking, add one cup of the pasta water to the sauce. The starchy pasta water will help bind the sauce and create a creamy consistency. Grate in the parmesan cheese, add chilli flakes (optional) and stir until it's fully melted and incorporated into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

Pasta added to tomato pasta sauce
7. Add pasta to the sauce

Add the drained and cooked pasta to the sauce in the pan. Stir the pasta thoroughly, ensuring the pasta is coated with the creamy sauce. Let the pasta and sauce come to a light simmer for about 30 seconds to allow the flavors to infuse.

Bowl of creamy tomato pasta with parmesan cheese and chilli flakes
8. Serve and garnish

Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls. Generously, sprinkle extra parmesan cheese and chili flakes on top for added flavor and a touch of heat. Enjoy!

Watch how to make Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

Frequently asked questions & tips for Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

Can I make this without chipotles in adobo?
Yes, it'll still take delicious but it won't have as much of a smoky/spicy flavour.
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Creamy Tomato Chilli Pasta

Cook Time
12 mins
Prep Time
7 mins
This creamy tomato pasta with a hint of smokeyness and a glorious hum of chilli, is your new weeknight go-to pasta that is so easy, delicious and comes together in about 20 minutes.
  • 400g of rigatoni
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ⅓ cup of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chipotles in adobo
  • 200g sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese + extra to garnish
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Category - Pasta
Cuisine - Italian inspired
Skill Level - Super easy
Other categories -
Dinner, Pasta, Weeknight meals, Vegetarian
Nutritional information
Calories 648.6 kcal32%
Carbohydrates 84.6 g28%
Sodium 675.7 mg29%
Magnesium 77.1 mg19%
Protein 18.2 g36%
Sugar 7.6 g8%
Calcium 174.8 mg17%
Vitamin A 40%
Fat 27.0 g41%
Fiber 5.6 g22%
Iron 2.8 mg15%
Vitamin C 8%

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