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Creamy Basil & Tomato Pasta

Creamy Basil & Tomato Pasta recipe
photo by:kraft
Combine fresh tomatoes and fragrant, fresh basil with vinaigrette and cream cheese to feel like you're in an Italian café.
20 min
1 hr
8 servings, 1 cup each
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I have made this recipe twice now. The first time I made it exactly as directed. It was great but I'm not fond of pine nuts. The second time I made it, I substituted Low Fat Italian Dressing and 1 dry packet of Italian Dressing for the Sun Dried Tomato Dressing. I also used low fat cream cheese and toasted walnuts. It was much better the second time. I followed the instructions as directed but after I added the liquid dressing I sprinkled a packet of dry italian salad dressing over it and mixed it in. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!
I haven't made this yet, but wondered if you could use mazzarella or feta cheese instead of the cream cheese. Will make this recipe later this week and try with mozz.
This has become a favorite at our house! I use about 1/2 cup of the dressing, instead of 1/4 cup, because I love the flavor it imparts! The creamy cheese, all melting with the fresh basil is delicious! I always add 1 lb. of shrimp, too. This is going into my "keeper" file!
I would make a variation of this, subsituting the cream cheese with something else. (Poss ricotta?) The overall flavor was good but the cheese texture was not appealing.
I thought it was fresh and tasty! My children gave their A one approval.
GREAT!was perfect for family lunch.
Okay... The picture is beautiful because when prepared it is lovely to look at! Unfortunately it is bland but because it is so pretty to serve I have a solution. (I was able to "fix" it!) Prepare as directed but then cook some chicken with garlic cloves and garlic powder in a skillet to add in the toss. Add that and then place a heavy topping of parmesan--romano cheese with bacon pieces on each served plate. That adds the right kick but needs to be heavy. That is why I'm hesitant to add shrimp as chicken and bacon are more complimentary to one another and the bacon pieces with cheese are key to making it the beauty it is in the photo. I'll make my version of it again in the future! You could easily skip the chicken but we have some major carnivore issues in this house. If you skip the chicken the garlic could be left out as the bacon and cheese are great alone as a topping.
The picture makes this recipe look awesome, but in reality is lacked flavor. The basil wasn't enough. This recipe could only be salvaged by using sun-dried tomatoes instead of romas, and adding at least 2 cloves of minced garlic and possibly some thinly sliced red onion...
This is a good spring or summer recipe. The fresh tomatoes and basil are nice. My family liked it. I may try adding some chicken in next time.
I used dried basil instead and omitted the nuts... My kids are basically picky eaters, but they all enjoyed it as well.
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