Whole Tomatoes Cooked with Ground Beef and Tossed with Penne Pasta
We love cooking pasta sauce using whole tomatoes and fresh summer basil. There is something about the flavor of whole tomatoes that makes a quick sauce taste like it simmered for hours with a nice fresh and lively taste.
Whole tomatoes can be a bit tricky to cook with though, so beware. Our way of cooking with these little garden delights is to use our fingers to gently squeeze and tear apart the tomatoes. Feeling for the tougher pieces and stems and discarding those.
Start by smooshing the tomatoes with the end of a spatula so there is less squirting. You can also skip the squishing/smooshing process and toss the whole tomatoes into a blender for about 30-40 seconds, or just break them down with a fork or spatula. We even know a few resourceful people that cut them with scissors or snips if you don’t like touching tomatoes.
Whole tomatoes make this sauce super-delicious and fresh tasting.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 12 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 (28 oz.) cans of whole tomatoes, drained
- 1 ( 8 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put back in the pot. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of butter.
While the pasta is cooking, using a large skillet, cook onions in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add garlic the last 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Brown beef breaking up pieces with a spatula as it cooks. Lightly salt and pepper beef while browning. Drain off any extra grease.
Drain the tomatoes of liquid and add to the skillet. Break up tomatoes using your fingers or with a spatula. Pull of any hard pieces and the tops of the tomatoes.
Add the tomato sauce, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Stir in the heavy cream and basil. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Cook Penne pasta in salted water according to the package directions. Drain and put back in the same pan. Swirl 1 tablespoon of melted butter through the pasta. When the sauce is ready, pour the pasta into the skillet with the sauce and gently stir to coat the pasta.
Juicy whole tomatoes just “bursting” with flavor.
Add a little heavy cream for a delicious creamy tomato sauce