It’s fast! Fatty! Delicious!

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Basil Penne
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5-6
Quick, convenient, infinitely variable.
  • 1 lb penne pasta, cooked
  • 10-12 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup cream or chicken stock if you are worried about calories
  • 6-8 oz spreadable flavored cheese of your choice, such as Alouette, Boursin, Rondele.
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup sun dried tomato pesto, or drained sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. Not dried.
  • ⅓ cup chiffonade fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper and Butter and Olive oil
  1. Marinate diced tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and oil with a pinch of salt, and optional 1 tsp sugar if they are not very sweet.
  2. Saute mushrooms in large skillet using either butter and/or olive oil until browned.
  3. Push mushrooms out to the sides of skillet, add a little more oil and saute garlic and onions until translucent. Season the entire mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Deglaze with white wine.
  5. Add the cream or chicken stock, cheese, sun dried tomato pesto. Stir to melt and combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Off heat, add penne and basil and mix well.
This sauce is a bit thicker than you would expect, add more chicken stock to thin. If you take away everything except the tomatoes, spreadable cheese, onion, garlic, basil, you will still have a decent pasta dish that you can then use to experiment with new flavors.


Actually now that I think about it, spread over 6 main course servings, this isn’t actually that fatty. The basic idea for using spreadable cheese as a basis for cream sauce instead of heavy cream goes to The Schmoops’ mother, a phenomenal lady in all respects. Why, last Thanksgiving when she made pork tenderloin stuffed with dried mango, pineapple and Parmesan garlic breadcrumbs with port demiglace I nearly died. Actually there have been many instances of near death at her hand, so she’s actually the greatest villain I’ve ever known?