Let me start by saying you absolutely need to have a delicious tomato sauce pasta recipe in your weeknight dinner repertoire. And this Tomato Butter Sauce Pasta with Arugula is the perfect candidate! It has a creamy, rich, flavourful tomato sauce that coats every bit of pasta, fresh, crisp arugula that brings the whole dish together with its peppery and slightly bitter flavour and melted butter that makes it an incredible, over the top dish.
Ingredients used in this Tomato Butter Sauce Pasta
This recipe requires 10 basic ingredients that you can usually find in your kitchen.
- Pasta: I used fusilli pasta because I love how it catches the tomato sauce. I recommend tubular pasta, but you can use any kind you prefer.
- Olive Oil: To help the onions to caramelise.
- Onion and Garlic: They are the classic combo in any tomato sauce.
- Tomato Paste: To intensify the flavours and thicken the sauce. You could skip it, but I really recommend adding it.
- Sugar: I used just a pinch to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Diced Tomatoes: Buy high quality canned tomatoes for incredible flavour. You could also use fresh diced tomatoes, but they will take longer to cook.
- Unsalted Butter: Adds lots of flavour and makes the sauce super creamy. You can swap it with 3-4 tbsp heavy cream.
- Parmesan Cheese: There’s no such thing as pasta without Parmesan cheese. Be sure to buy the real deal Parmigiano Reggiano for amazing outcomes.
- Arugula: Fresh arugula adds a little bit of freshness and a peppery, slightly bitter taste. I think it pairs incredibly with the rich, creamy tomato butter sauce.
You can serve this tomato butter sauce pasta garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and roasted pine nuts for extra crunch. Also, black olives and chopped crispy bacon would be delicious topping options.
Step by step instructions for the easiest Arugula Pasta
Not only this tomato butter sauce is incredible, but also so easy to make! It takes about 15 minutes – about the same time it takes for your water to boil and your pasta to cook.
- Cook the pasta. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Heavily salt the water (don’t skip this step!) and add pasta. Cook according to package instructions until al-dente, stirring occasionally. If you overcook the pasta it will become chewy. Before you drain the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water.
- Start the sauce. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the diced onions. Cook them until soft and translucent. Then, add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add diced tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help all the flavours develop and meld together. Add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Make the sauce creamy. Stir in butter cubes and Parmesan cheese to make this sauce super creamy and rich.
- Finish the pasta dish. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat them in the sauce. Stir in fresh arugula right before serving.
- Garnish and serve. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and pine nuts.
Tomato Butter Sauce Pasta with Arugula
- ½ lb fusilli pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 pinch granulated sugar
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter cubed
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 handfuls arugula
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp pine nuts for serving
- Parmesan cheese shaved, for serving
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Heavily season the boiling water with salt and add pasta, stirring occasionally. Cook according to package instructions.
- While the water is boiling start the sauce. Add olive oil and diced onions to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Stir in butter cubes, then add the parmesan.
- Reserve some pasta water, drain the pasta and add them to the sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add pasta water to the sauce to thin it if necessary. Stir in arugula right before serving and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve with shaved Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and pine nuts.