This 20 minute creamy tomato farfalle brings a healthy take on traditional cream sauce with peas and crispy prosciutto for an easy, filling meal.
This creamy tomato farfalle is a recipe born out of nostalgia.
Between my brother and I, my parents were on a soccer field either for practice or a game pretty much 6 out of 7 days a week. Just thinking about all their free time eaten up by the sport and the multiple teams we both played on is literally one of the reasons I don’t want kids. I’m just way too selfish for that kind of commitment.
*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.
While my parents did their best to have plenty of home cooked meals on the table for dinner, there were some nights that just wasn’t feasible.
Lucky for us, there was one of the many typical pizza/pasta joints you find in every shopping plaza in suburban NY right down the road from the soccer field.
On Fridays, dad would meet us there after he got out of work and instead of getting pizza to take home, we’d sit down and eat dinner there. My order, every single time: Farfalle ala Daniella.
I have zero idea who the heck Daniella is but I can tell you this, she’s got damn good taste. With peas, prosciutto and a creamy decadent almost vodka-like tomato sauce, I found it impossible to order anything but this dish for a solid 2 years until our practice field changed locations and our beloved pizza/pasta joint was no longer as convenient.
I also happened to get my license around that time and dinner with friends started overriding dinner with my parents and annoying 14 year old brother.
I’m almost shocked it took me this long to recreate this creamy tomato farfalle dish given its sentimental memory but I’m so glad I finally did. Of course, without that lovely 15 year old metabolism, the heavy cream based, carb-heavy recipe of my past needed an overhaul for my current, let’s say more “health-focused” lifestyle.
Not to mention, some added protein if its going to make its reappearance as my post workout meal! After a few tweaks, I think I finally nailed it with this one.
Step one was using Barilla® ProteinPLUS® farfalle. With 10g of lean protein (from wholesome ingredients like flaxseed, barley, oats, chickpeas and lentils), in each serving, it’s an easy way to boost the protein (and fiber!) content of a pasta based meal.
While we all know carbs are important post workout, lean protein is equally so!
Step two was recreating that creamy tomato sauce we all love in those Italian restaurants without all the cream, not an easy feat. I’ve done this before with this creamy tomato pappardelle dish but took a different approach this time.
I tried a few different ways but the secret ingredient that really made the sauce most resemble my decadent Daniella memory was…almonds. Yep, whole almonds.
Blended with the tomatoes and almond milk, they thicken the sauce just enough and bring a bit of the decadence that heavy cream does. Soaked cashews would also be a great substitution since we all know how awesome cashew cream is (this walnut crusted peach tart with cashew coconut cream is my absolute favorite use of it ever and this copycat Panera tomato soup is my favorite savory use).
With these couple of changes, this creamy tomato farfalle becomes an excellent post workout recovery meal. Lean protein from Barilla® ProteinPLUS® that doesn’t sacrifice any of that hearty, delicious pasta taste and a much healthier tomato “cream” sauce make this a dinner you can feel good about eating after the gym or feeding the family after a long day of work and sports.
Bonus – it’s ready in just 20 minutes, start to finish!
Don’t miss this garlic shrimp bucatini recipe if you want another under 30 minute healthier pasta meal too!
Love this creamy tomato farfalle recipe?
For the sauce
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cloves roasted garlic (or 1 clove raw garlic)
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper to taste
For the pasta
- 1/3 pound thick cut prosciutto, chopped
- 8 ounces Barilla ProteinPLUS farfalle
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- chopped basil for garnish
For the sauce:
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
For the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, place a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the prosciutto and cook until browned and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate reserving the fat in the skillet.
- Once boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
- While pasta cooks, reduce heat under the skillet to medium and add the shallots. Cook for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add the peas to the skillet and cook until just heated through.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add to the skillet. Return the prosciutto the skillet, pour the sauce over top and toss until everything is well coated.
- Garnish with freshly chopped basil and serve.