Bow Tie Pasta Recipe

4.50 from 18 votes

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I love a simple and fast weeknight meal and Bow Tie Pasta recipes absolutely fit the bill. The bow ties are cooked and then tossed with a creamy tomato sauce with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. SO SO good. Ready in 20 minutes and delicious served with Garlic Bread and Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad.

creamy tomato bow tie pasta in pan

A Quick and Easy Dinner

I love sharing recipes that I make all the time but never think to share on my blog. This is one of those recipes! One of our favorite Bow Tie Pasta Recipes at my house is a creamy tomato pasta dish that comes together in 20 minutes or less. It’s a no-fuss recipe that tastes delicious. My simple creamy sauce is simply garlic, canned tomatoes, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Adding a touch of sugar and a healthy bit of salt bring this sauce to life and make it taste as good as it should. The fresh basil really just adds a little more flavor and color, plus is a classic Italian touch.

Main Ingredients Needed

You don’t need much to make this Bow Tie Pasta recipe, with a few helpful store-bought ingredients you’ll have this ready in a jiffy!

bow tie pasta ingredients
  • Bow Tie Pasta – also known as farfalle or butterfly pasta. These hold the sauce quite perfectly, plus they are a fun pasta shape for kids.
  • Garlic – tasty garlic to start off this dish.
  • Tomatoes – I made this recipe fast and easy by using canned diced tomatoes! Use the petite diced if you have picky eaters.
  • Sugar – this is to help cut the acidity of the canned tomatoes.
  • Heavy Cream – this adds creaminess to the sauce.
  • Parmesan – use fresh hand grated parmesan for best melting results.
  • Basil Leaves – last but not least, is basil leaves! Slice them thin and enjoy their fresh taste.

Bow Tie Pasta Recipes Variations

I originally made this Bow Tie Pasta to be vegetarian, but if you are a meat eater, don’t let that stop you from adding some protein. Here are a few ideas:

  • Italian Sausage
  • Smoked Sausage
  • Chicken Breasts or Thighs (Rotisserie chicken would work great here!)
  • Ground Beef

Or if you’re looking for more vegetables to add try wilting some spinach while cooking or slice up some mushrooms and cook with the garlic! If you want to add more spice, try red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

How to Make Bow Tie Pasta

This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights and one the whole family will love! It’s quickly become a family favorite in this house! For full details, including ingredients and measurements needed, see the printable recipe card down below.

Step 1: Cook Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook bow tie pasta until al dente and drain. Set aside.

Pro Tip: Check with the package directions for specific cooking time. Usually al dente is 2 minutes less than fully cooked.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic until fragrant. Pour in a can of diced tomatoes with sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer gently for 2 minutes.

Pour in heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Sprinkle in parmesan cheese and stir to melt. Taste and adjust seasonings. It may need more sugar and/or salt, depending on how acidic your tomatoes were. Typically, you will need a little bit of both.

Step 3: Top with Basil

Add hot pasta and stir to coat in parmesan cream sauce. Add chopped basil and stir. Serve hot!

chopped fresh basil on top of bow tie pasta with sauce

Storing Leftovers

This creamy Bow Tie Pasta recipe is one of those easy recipes that is a double winner. Not only does it make a fast and easy dinner but it also saves well! Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days! The sauce might not seem as creamy right out of the fridge, but simply add a splash of water into your bowl or container before microwaving to get that “saucy” pasta back. It works like a charm.

bow tie pasta with sauce in pan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bow Tie Pasta called?

You might see Farfalle on the box of bow tie pasta. Farfalle is an Italian word that means “butterfly”. They are usually served with creamy sauces, tomato sauces and hearty meat sauces. If you opt for a creamy sauce instead of my tomato sauce recipe, the addition of cream cheese, thin strips of sun-dried tomatoes and a splash of lemon juice would be amazing.

What is a good substitute for farfalle pasta?

Short, bite-sized pastas such as shells, mini penne pasta, or mezzi (“half”) rigatoni all are great substitutes for farfalle or bow tie pasta.

Can I add meat to this bow tie pasta recipes?

Absolutely! I made this creamy bow tie recipe with the intent of keeping it vegetarian. You can add some protein to it such as ground beef, chicken, smoked or mild Italian sausage.

More Classic Pasta Recipes to Try!

More Favorites from Lauren’s Latest

I hope you love this easy pasta recipe as much as we enjoy it. Be sure to add it to your regular rotation because I know you’ll want to make this again and again. The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy.

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

creamy tomato bow tie pasta in pan
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4.50 from 18 votes

Bow Tie Pasta Recipe

I love a simple and fast weeknight meal and Bow Tie Pasta recipes absolutely fit the bill. The bow ties are cooked and then tossed with a creamy tomato sauce with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 oz petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese hand grated
  • .5 oz fresh basil leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook bowtie pasta until al dente and drain. Set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook garlic for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Pour in can of diced tomatoes with sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in heavy cream and reduce heat to low.
  • Sprinkle in parmesan cheese and stir to melt. Taste and adjust seasonings. It may need more sugar and/or salt, depending how acidic your tomatoes were.
  • Add hot pasta and stir to coat in sauce. Add chopped basil and stir.
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 710kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 624mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1202IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 295mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bow tie pasta

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Recipe Rating




13 Responses
  1. Abbass Ammar

    5 stars
    I’m a university student so I’m trying to cook on my own, i tried this recipe but used granted parmesan cheese instead and it turned out delicious. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  2. Kim t

    5 stars
    I made this or was “inspired by this”
    I used about 1/4 cup cream cheese
    1/4 cup Parmesan around 5 of the baby tomatoes because that’s all i had left and a tablespoon of tomato paste. No sugar. And pretty much just did the rest as instructed… it was very good light and easy to adjust for larger or smaller portions.

  3. Edita

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I didn’t have petite diced tomatoes, so I threw my regular diced potatoes in a blender cup with oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and the sugar. I then added that to the sautéed garlic and followed the rest of the recipe, minus the basil. I also didn’t have fresh parmesan so I used grated. Turned out absolutely delicious and reminded me of a pasta dish I used to order at a local restaurant. SO yummy!

  4. Jennifer Matwijec

    5 stars
    Great quick and easy recipe that calls for ingredients I typically have on hand. I also added Italian sausage to add some extra flavor. The whole family (even my daughter who hates tomatoes) LOVE this recipe

  5. Bec

    5 stars
    Very good. I did not have cream but I found a substitute for cream on the internet. I used an equal portion of yogurt and milk. Thanks for sharing recipe.

  6. Brittney

    4 stars
    I just made this for dinner and my 7 year old son(also a pasta lover) called me a chef. Lol. I used shell pasta in place of the bowtie pasta, because I didn’t have any on hand. I substituted the heavy cream with cream cheese because I didn’t have the ingredients for heavy cream. It turned out very good, even though I’m not a big fan of creamy type sauces.

  7. Alma Young

    5 stars
    We live the bow tie fish, I tweeted it a bit, I didn’t have fresh garlic so I used powder, I diced my own tomatoes from the garden instead out of the can, used powder Parm cheese I didn’t have fresh one and I added spinach it turn out delicious.

  8. Emily

    I have kids who try to pick out diced tomatoes whenever I make pasta dishes. So I solved that by giving canned, diced tomatoes a few whirs in my baby bullet – purées it into nothing 😉

  9. Terri

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was Superb!!! I have made many of your recipes and they never let me down – all wonderful and delicious! Thank you sooo much!

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