Full of mellow roasted garlic flavor, this Creamy Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce uses only 2 tbs of cream. All the richness you crave without too much decadence. After roasting a whole bunch of garlic this week – enjoying it on avocado toast and lots of other recipes – this creamy sauce was a great end to my week long adventure with roasted garlic.
The sauce is made mostly with pasta water with loads of roasted garlic and a bit of parmesan cheese. Since it is a garlic rich sauce, topping it with fresh ingredients like parsley and/or thyme and juicy cherry tomatoes to balance it well. You could used store-bought roasted garlic, but why deprive yourself of the wonderful smell of garlic roasting in your kitchen – I posted this simple garlic roasting method using a garlic roaster.
Or for the quickest way to roast garlic:
- Heat your oven to 400F
- Break the heads of garlic into individual bulbs, keeping the skin on.
- Place on a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Coat with olive oil + salt/pepper.
- Wrap the foil up so it tents the garlic to keep the steam in.
- Roast for 30 minutes. Garlic will be soft when pressed and pop right out of the skins when it’s ready.
You simmer and whisk the cheese and mashed garlic cloves together, continuing to mash everything as it warms and melts together. Add cream or oat milk works too. Add cooked pasta and you get this.
Tossed with cherry tomatoes, parsley, a few dashes of red pepper flakes and lots of freshly ground pepper, this is as delicious as the photo looks. In 40 min, you can be enjoying the Creamy Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce you’re now drooling over in the photo above.
a lightened up version of a cream sauce that is flecked with pieces of roasted garlic
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) penne or fusilli* (or gluten free pasta)
- 1 Tbs Kosher salt (to add to pasta water)
- 1 cup pasta water (from cooking the pasta above)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed roasted garlic cloves (about 3 entire heads) Mashed the roasted garlic with a fork OR for a smoother texture use a small Cuisinart to blend the garlic - add a little pasta cooking water to your blender if you opt for this method.
- see garlic roasting recipe here or quick roasting instructions above in the blog post
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to top
- 2 Tbs heavy cream (oat milk can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- a few dashes red pepper flakes
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- a few sprigs thyme, optional
Cook pasta in salted water, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
Add the reserved pasta water, smashed roasted garlic and parmesan to a large skillet. Over medium-med. high heat, whisk until both cheese and garlic breaks down and begins to form a thicker and creamy sauce. Continuing to mash the garlic as it warms with the back of a wooden spoon or fork. (Remove any crispy bits of roasted garlic that don't melt into the sauce.)
The sauce should come together in about 7 minutes. It doesn't look like a lot of sauce, but it's rich and a light coating is all that's needed to provide amazing garlic flavor.
Stir in cream/oat milk, followed by pasta.
Season with herbs and pepper. Top with cherry tomatoes and extra grated parmesan.
* the shape of the pasta you use will effect how much sauce you have to coat the pasta. Fusilli will hold more sauce in its spiral shape than penne.
* This is not Alfredo sauce - it's meant to be a super light + flavorful coating of cream sauce flecked with pieces of roasted garlic.
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