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Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta with Broccoli

Shweta Arora
Creamy tomato sauce pasta is a comforting pasta dish made in a rich luscious tomato sauce with a bonus of broccoli that not only provides a nutritional boost but also adds to the color appeal.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people



  • 2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups dry uncooked pasta bowtie (farfalle) or penne or elbows or any of choice
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth/Water (for instant pot cooking only)
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 1-2 cups broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional to balance tartness)

Seasoning and spices

For Serving

  • few tbsps parmigiano-reggiano grated, for serving
  • dry parsley flakes
  • Freshly cracked black pepper optional, adjust to taste
  • red pepper flakes optional, adjust to taste


Stove Top Method:

  • Boil water in a large pot & season it well with salt. Add the pasta to the boiling water & cook pasta as per package instructions. When the pasta is almost cooked add the broccoli florets to the water. Allow to boil with pasta for 2 mins and then strain and add in cold water to maintain the green color. 
  • Reserve ½ cup of pasta water as this can be used to adjust the consistency of the sauce. 
  • Strain the pasta & keep aside. Sprinkle some oil to avoid them sticking to each other.
  • In a pan add butter, bay leaf, minced garlic and onions & cook till onions turn transparent.
  • Now add the spices, tomato sauce and cook for 5 mins or till the sauce slightly thickens up.
  • Add the cream cheese and cream and mix until the cream cheese has melted. You will get a nice orangish color & a rich creamy texture. Cook it for another 2 mins & then add your cooked pasta & broccoli to it. Mix well.
  • Our delicious creamy tomato sauce pasta with broccoli is ready!!  Serve hot topped with some grated parmigiano-reggiano and freshly cracked black pepper and red pepper (optional). 

Instant Pot Method:

  • Start the Instant Pot on saute mode and to it add the butter. Once butter is melted add the garlic, bay leaf and onions and saute until the onions are translucent. 
  • Deglaze with 2 tablespoon water if required. Switch off the instant pot, add in the seasoning (dry parsley, Italian seasoning, dry oregano, red chili flakes, salt & pepper). Stir for couple of seconds until the spices are fragreant (caution not to burn them). 
  • Add the pasta spreading evenly followed by tomato sauce, 2 cups of water or vegetable stock, Stir and press the pasta to be under water. 
  • Close the Instant pot lid with vent to sealing and cook on manual mode (or pressure cook mode) on high for 5 mins. Once done cooking, do a Quick Release after 5 mins.
  • Give the pasta a mix and add in the cream cheese, broccoli, mix slightly and close the lid for 10-15 mins. The steam from the  cooked pasta is sufficient to cook the broccoli al dente and melt the cream cheese.  Alternately to speed up, boil the broccoli separately and add to the pasta at the end. 
  • Open the lid, give everything a good mix. Add in some cream and water/broth to adjust the consistency of pasta sauce (if needed).
  • Our delicious creamy tomato sauce pasta with Broccoli is ready!!  Serve hot topped with some grated parmigiano-reggiano and freshly cracked black pepper and red pepper (optional). 


  • This pasta will absorb all moisture as it sits which can make pasta soft and the sauce to dry/thicken. If this happens, adjust the consistency with broth or cream.
  • Tomato puree or marinara sauce can be used in place of tomato sauce. 
  • Spinach or kale can be added at the end along with broccoli or in place of it. 
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