Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta | Leite’s Culinaria

This creamy sun-dried tomato pasta is an easy meal made with rigatoni that’s tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, wilted spinach, and lemony ricotta. Best of all, this quick and easy pasta is on the table in just 30 minutes.

A red bowl filled with creamy sun-dried tomato and spinach pasta with a red cloth napkin on the side.

Adapted from Joy Howard | Tomato Love | Storey Publishing, 2022

There’s a trick to making a good creamy sauce, and it’s not your choice of ingredients. Heat plays a big role in making or (literally) breaking a sauce’s silky texture. Enter ricotta! It holds up to heat, and its subtle flavor is a great vehicle for other ingredients (here, it’s lemon).

Don’t forget to reserve some pasta water to add in the final step so the dish turns out creamy rather than clumpy. — Joy Howard

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta FAQs

Can I substitute frozen spinach for fresh?

Absolutely. Just remember to completely thaw your frozen spinach, drain it, and gently squeeze out as much liquid as possible so it doesn’t water down your sauce.

What exactly are sun-dried tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes are usually Roma, San Marzano, or smaller grape tomatoes that have been dehydrated by one of three ways: being placed in the sun, in a dehydrator, or in an oven. When they’re dried, the tomatoes lose 90% of their weight but retain their flavor and all of their nutritional qualities – just in a more portable, preservable form.

Sun-dried tomatoes are tangy, sweet, and chewy, and are often used in pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. They’re a fantastic source of vitamins K and C, lycopene, niacin, fiber, riboflavin, and a number of antioxidants.

What does adding pasta water to the sauce do?

That 1/2 cup of salty, starchy water will do wonders for your sauce. It’ll add flavor, help the pasta and sauce stick together, and it will act as a thickener.

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

A red bowl filled with creamy sun-dried tomato and spinach pasta with a red cloth napkin on the side.

Sun-dried tomatoes, lemon-infused ricotta, and spinach meld together to make a creamy flavorful easy pasta sauce in this easy weeknight dinner recipe.

Joy Howard

Prep 10 mins

Cook 20 mins

Total 30 mins

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

  • While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper.

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 2 generous pinches of pepper flakes, the spinach, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the spinach is wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Add the cooked pasta and toss for 2 minutes to warm through.

  • Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and add the ricotta mixture, along with 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Toss until the pasta is well coated. (If the sauce is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.)

  • Serve immediately with grated Parmesan on the side.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 472kcal (24%)Carbohydrates: 75g (25%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 10mg (3%)Sodium: 864mg (38%)Potassium: 634mg (18%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 3694IU (74%)Vitamin C: 26mg (32%)Calcium: 169mg (17%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published August 9, 2022

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *