Easy tomato cream rigatoni

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Need easy dinner inspiration for tonight? This easy but totally delicious tomato cream rigatoni recipe is weeknight dinner perfection.

Easy tomato cream rigatoni

The last thing I want to be thinking about after a full day of cooking and shooting is dinner. Enter this INCREDIBLE tomato cream rigatoni recipe. I don’t even want to tell you how often I’ve made this easy pasta recipe over the last month but once you’ve tried it, you’ll totally understand.

It’s one of those recipes I just threw together one night with a bunch of store-cupboard ingredients. But isn’t that how fantastic recipes start most of the time? It’s become my go-to for busy nights/lazy nights/nights I just need to eat a bowl full of pasta on the couch. The sauce takes as long to cook as the rigatoni pasta does so we’re talking 20 minutes tops. This is how to make rigatoni pasta right. And you won’t be disappointed, guaranteed.

Easy tomato cream rigatoni

What can I add to this rigatoni recipe?

If you want to add a protein, cooked chicken, shrimp (prawns) or bacon would all be fantastic. You can also add wilted spinach or kale or sauteed mushrooms to add more vegetables.

How long to cook rigatoni?

Rigatoni takes a little longer to cook than shorter pasta shapes due to its size. Bring a large pot of salted water (you want the water to be well-seasoned) to a boil then add the rigatoni. Allow to cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is al dente. To know when the pasta is cooked, carefully taste a piece of the drained pasta and if its pleasant to eat without being too firm, it’s ready. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of cooking water, and combine with the sauce.

Easy tomato cream rigatoni

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Easy tomato cream rigatoni
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4.19 from 55 votes

Easy tomato cream rigatoni

Need easy dinner inspiration for tonight? This easy but totally delicious tomato cream rigatoni recipe is weeknight dinner perfection.
Course Dinner, Easy Recipe, Pasta, Vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Easy pasta recipe, Rigatoni, Tomato cream rigatoni
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 436kcal
Author Alida Ryder


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 x 400g 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • ยฝ cup water
  • pinch of sugar optional
  • ยฝ cup whipping/heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 500 g 1lb rigatoni, cooked (reserve 1 cup of cooking water)
  • Parmesan and basil to serve


  • Melt together the olive oil and butter and saute the onions until soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds before adding the chopped tomatoes.
  • Pour ยฝ cup water into the tomato can and pour into the pot.
  • Season with sugar, salt and pepper then allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the cream and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes before blending until smooth (optional).
  • Add the cooked rigatoni to the pasta and stir to coat. Add some of the reserved cooking water to thin out the sauce and make it even silkier.
  • Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.


Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 13.7% | Vitamin C: 14.6% | Calcium: 7.6% | Iron: 11.3%

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Showing 18 comments
  • Katie Cassidy

    Could I chop up fresh tomatoes, or is is important to use canned ones? Thanks!

    • Alida Ryder

      The canned tomatoes are much richer in colour and flavour I have found unless you have perfectly ripe tomatoes. You’ll have to remove the tomato skins as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christina Shoemaker

    I can’t remember the last time I had rigatoni and now you have me craving it! This looks sensational! Creamy and simple too! YUM!

  • Reply

    I love pantry dinners! They are a great way to come up with something new and easy. And I certainly won’t judge you for making that yummy looking pasta over and over again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply

    I just watched your video and it ‘urged’ me check my pantry/refrigerator. Yep, I got everything in there — making this one for dinner tonight. Really quick and looks absolutely good. I just need to open a bottle of red to go with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jill

    Tomato sauce with cream is SO good. Great video too!

  • Lisa

    An easy weeknight dinner – and your photos are gorgeous!

  • Ami

    Really good

  • Susana

    Hello, Alida.

    Ohh. My tummy is grumbling from looking at your pictures. It looks so mouthwatering. I will definitely try to cook that creamy pumpkin pasta with crispy bacon. Have a great day!

  • Reply

    Such a deliciously easy weeknight meal Alida! My whole family would love it!

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