Garlicky Alfredo Pasta w/Burst Tomatoes {vegetarian}

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. Like 3 months worth of minutes. There’s been a lot going on. I moved to the Seattle-area at the beginning of the year. I bought my first house. Between moving and dealing with new-old house issues, I’ve been busy and stressed. My kitchen is a mess. Literally there is drywall debris scattered across the floor. I don’t have enough empty counter space to prep food for cooking. Even if I had a place to cook, my dining room table is covered in clutter. I work 10 to 12 to 14 hours each day. Weekends are spent working on my house (painting, cleaning, organizing, gardening, etc.). I literally do not have the energy to cook. Even frozen food seems like a big ordeal.

After 10K worth of electrical updates, I had a bunch of holes in my walls. Last week, one of my friends came over to help me with the drywall situation. I decided to cook dinner most nights because (see earlier comment about paying 10K for electric) I’m broke. Also at the point I decided to cook, the kitchen drywall had not been repaired and, therefore, my kitchen wasn’t yet a complete disaster. It was more like a mini disaster.

Anyway, one night when Dave was over slowly plodding his way through my upstairs bedrooms and hallway, I threw together a very simple spaghetti alfredo with lots of garlic and a few red chili pepper flakes. Dave said he loved it even though he doused it with Frank’s Red Hot sauce much to my dismay/horror/objection.

Literally as soon as Dave finished plastering joint compound over my kitchen walls and ceiling and I knew squirrels could no longer get into my house, I packed up and headed down to SoCal for a few weeks. A few weeks ago I made the hard to decision to rent out my condo here, and I need to get it ready for that. From where I’m standing now, I cannot fathom why at one point I thought I could afford two mortgages. Maybe it was before I bought a house. It was definitely before I put 20K into my brand new old house.

At any rate, part of what I need to do while I’m in SoCal is clean out the fridge, freezer and cupboards. I found three packages of spaghetti in my cupboards. I had toted my heavy cream down the coast with me because … doesn’t everyone take open food containers with them on road trips so they don’t have to throw said food out? Just me?

I also brought the last of my garlic and some cherry tomatoes I had had sitting around for way too long at my new old house in the Pacific Northwest. Luckily I still had butter in the fridge and some red chili flakes in the cupboard. All of these ingredients when they come together make a very fine tasting pasta dish.

Seriously making alfredo sauce is really soooo soooo soooo easy when you use the Pioneer Woman’s technique. You don’t have to make a roux. Hurrah! You just kind of toss everything together and magically you get a creamy, dreamy alfredo sauce. To dress it up a bit, I added some garlic to the part where you melt the butter. Remember that I did this when I was cooking pasta for Dave and presumably he loved it under all that offensive Frank’s Red Hot sauce.

To add some extra health (ha ha!) to this dish I roasted some cherry tomatoes until they bursted. Then I mixed the burst tomatoes into the pasta at the very end. This is an easy, impressive dish to pull together in a snap, with stuff you likely already have on hand anyway. Because who doesn’t have heavy cream in their fridge at all times?


  • 16 oz long pasta such as spaghetti, fettucine or linguine
  • 2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 T. Safflower seed or avocado oil


  1. Rinse off tomatoes and pat dry. Put tomatoes in a ziplock baggy with olive oil. Shake to distribute. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes start to brown and burst. Remove from one and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente noodles.
  3. While pasta and tomatoes are cooking, heat the butter in a small pot over medium or medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red chili pepper flakes and let cook a bit in the sizzling butter – do not allow to burn. Add the heavy cream and heat until hot but not boiling.
  4. In a large serving bowl or plate, place half of the grated parmesan cheese. Pour the hot cream/butter mixture over the cheese and allow to sit for a few minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta if you haven’t already; reserve some of the pasta water. Immediately pour the freshly drained pasta onto the butter/cheese/cream mixture. Toss to combine. Add the remaining parmesan cheese and toss. If the mixture is too thick or clumpy, add some pasta water to thin it out and get it extra creamy.
  6. Add the burst tomatoes and gently mix to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, if desired.
  7. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.

Recipe rating: 

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