It happens. You have a day, maybe a week, when nothing seems to get done. The to-do list keeps growing, and nothing gets checked off. This often happens at the Cat Farm, especially at this time of year – my most hectic time at work, and one of the busiest times for the gardens and other household chores. This recipe is for those days that are long and crazy. Those days when you run around like you’re barking mad, and feel like you’ve been hit by a truck when you finally stop to take a break. This recipe will make your house smell like a freakin’ Italian restaurant. This recipe is quick and bloody easy.

Now, there’s a catch. If something seems to good to be true, it usually is. The catch here is… canned tomato sauce. Yup. And though normally I refuse to buy canned/bottled pasta sauces (because they are easy to make, and my sauces don’t have any weird chemicals in ’em), there are times when I cave. Like on the weekend when we’ve been outdoors all day, we’re so hungry we could eat the arse end of a skunk, and we need something fast.

pasta with garlicky cream sauce

I use Hunts Tomato Sauce for this recipe. Just their basic sauce – no added seasonings. Also, you should know that this recipe makes enough to feed a small army. A big pot full of pasta and sauce. Perfect for a hungry family or to reheat for lunches throughout the week.

Disclaimer: this is not first date food. Six cloves of garlic, a pile of onions and pasta that can whip you in the face are never first date food. You’ve been warned.

. . .

Movita’s Super Easy Pasta with Garlicky Cream Sauce – inspired by many – download and print

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (680 ml each) Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dash of sugar (optional)
  • fresh basil, to taste, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup light cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1 900g package of spaghetti (or other pasta)
Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add onions and garlic and saute for two minutes. Pour in tomato sauce and add the salt, pepper and sugar. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. As the sauce is cooking, prepare the spaghetti according to package instructions in a large pot. Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot. Remove the tomato sauce from heat and stir in basil, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Pour the sauce over pasta, stir to combine, and garnish with Parmesan cheese.


  1. emmalina73 on April 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Ok you are either :

    1. Amazingly Awesome at taking pictures of food
    2. Amazingly Awesome at describing food
    3. Amazingly Awesome at cooking food
    4. Amazingly Awesome at all of the above.

    If the answer is 4 (and I suspect it is) then we need to clone you so that each household can have a little Movita living in their kitchen. Science really needs to get its botty in gear on this one, it’s for the good of humanity people!

    Anyone who thinks I’m crazy/creepy/obsessed has clearly never been really hungry and reading this blog. Also I don’t sleep much. For reals.

    • movita on April 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      I love you. There I said it. And sometimes, when I get home from a really long day at the studio, and read stuff like that stuff up above, I love you even more. Obviously, I will have to come live in your kitchen. Even if other people think it’s weird. 2.0 would say those people can “jam it.” He’s wise like that.

      • emmalina73 on April 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm

        Please do come and live in my kitchen! You’d cheer me up no end despite the fact that I would weigh 400 stone. Totally worth it though. See you are fabulous and make me laugh with every post, a precious commodity my friend.

        I’m quite simply glad that you exist : )

  2. emmalina73 on May 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Made this for the boys tonight, they inhaled it! One teeny addition, crispy bacon pieces – organic of course : )

    • movita on May 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

      Nicely done! Bacon pieces belong on everything.

  3. JennyMama on June 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Just tried this recipe. 9pm and wanted something quick, I reduced the cooking time from 30 mins to 15 and it still turned out fabulous! Thanks for this recipe, gonna go look through more now!

  4. Brittney on April 28, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I could not find light cream so I got heavy cream is that gonna be a big problem?

    • movita beaucoup on April 29, 2014 at 6:43 am

      The milk fat in heavy cream is higher, and it is thicker than light cream. I haven’t tried this recipe with heavy cream, so I really can’t say what it will taste like without testing it myself. I suspect it will make the pasta more rich and may affect the texture slightly…

  5. movita beaucoup on May 11, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in April 2011. Happy cooking!