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Blushing Penne Pasta Recipe

Blushing Penne Pasta Recipe

I reworked this recipe from an original that called for vodka and heavy whipping cream. My friends and family have a hard time believing a sauce this rich, flavorful and creamy could be light. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided


  • 1. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return to pot.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium heat; saute onion until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Add herbs and salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Add 1 cup cream, wine and tomato paste; cook and stir until blended.
  • 3. Mix flour and remaining cream until smooth; gradually stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Stir into pasta. Serve with remaining cheese. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 335 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 431mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 12g protein.

Reviews for Blushing Penne Pasta

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LPHJKitchen User ID: 7521213 263476
Reviewed Mar. 14, 2017

"This was such a breeze to make and tastes great! I really liked the strong spice blend with the light sauce. We lightened it up even more by serving it with cooked spaghetti squash instead of penne. Even tastes great as leftovers! :)"

shannondobos User ID: 5115022 263372
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2017

"I thought the amount of thyme called for was just a bit too much for my tastes, so I cut it in half. I added an extra tablespoon of tomato paste, and I thought that was just right. This recipe is so rich and creamy. Everyone in my family ate it, including the kids! This is a keeper."

rllewis7 User ID: 7124309 232031
Reviewed Aug. 30, 2015

"I am not a big fan of tomato based sauces, so for me, this was the perfect balance of flavors. With some added chopped chicken, this is a recipe I will make again and again."

cbenne12 User ID: 7424916 161136
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2014

"My husband and I love this recipe! So simple and quick to make when on the run!"

Jillette12 User ID: 7344326 146692
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2013

"I thought the thyme was a little strong, but I would definitely make it again, just back off on that. Whole family liked it!"

MVPhelan User ID: 1073981 161531
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2013

"This is my family's favorite meal. It's the requested birthday dinner for my husband and daughter. I make it a lot when we have company over. I use more tomato paste than the recipe calls for. It's also great with shrimp or chicken added to it."

pixie9999 User ID: 2561170 115907
Reviewed Jan. 9, 2012

"Cheesy goodness. Very similar to a dish I loved in a restraunt. I like to add a can of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese then bake it just a bit to melt the cheese."

Carol39110 User ID: 1932804 167317
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2011

"This is company-worthy."

angelasandoval User ID: 2401339 208386
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2011

"Delicious! And my kids couldn't wait to get home from school the next day to have the leftovers for snack!"

mtorres3 User ID: 1346747 93881
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2011

"My family loved this! The sauce is rich and creamy and so easy to make. This is a keeper! Thanks fo the recipe."

quoteme08043 User ID: 3005402 161207
Reviewed Mar. 3, 2011

"it just missed. Too much srong thyme flavor overpowered the subtle blush of the sauce. A bit thick as well, and I used fat free half and half."

dverzic User ID: 762717 115904
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2010

"I thought this was pretty good. Didn't have fresh herbs, so I used dry. It's probably better with fresh though. I also added precooked chicken, and subbed some of the salt with garlic salt."

mjlouk User ID: 1712085 146690
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2010

"I thought this was a little bland. I used fresh thyme and fresh basil. I also added fresh tomatoes. I just thought it needed something else."

wildflowerhill User ID: 4553750 161134
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2010

"Amazing! Love it! Made 3 batches...2 for friends and 1 for us! I am addicted!"

lissakay_osu User ID: 1956332 161130
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2009

"Absolutely of our favorites! I often add chunks of grilled chicken."

Cahira User ID: 1835249 161530
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2008

"Fantastic recipe"

elbay User ID: 2026190 146689
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2008

"The sauce is DELICIOUS! I usually serve this with the Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs."

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