Quick, no fuss tomato and pesto sauce

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Laury Needham-Coenen

IMG_21351I love cooking but some days I just can't be bothered to make a five-course dinner with fancy-schmancy ingredients. This recipe makes ± 4 servings, and is so quick that the pasta can be done at the same time the sauce is done. So no long hangry waits!


  • 1 knife
  • 2 medium pots
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 chopping board



  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 300 gr cherry tomatoes (or 1 can of chopped tomatoes, which I didn't have right now)
  • 100 gr tomato purée
  • Half a jar of green pesto, ± 95 gr
  • 100 gr cream cheese
  • 250 ml milk or water
  • 1 beef stock cube (which I forgot to put on the photo…)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pasta, according to the number of people you're feeding
  • Some butter or oil

STEP 1. Chop up the tomatoes if you're using fresh. Also, you'll want to start with your pasta. I'll start boiling my water at this point and the pasta will be done with the sauce.

STEP 2. Dice the onions finely.
IMG_2124[1]The way I do this is by cutting the top off and halving the onion.

IMG_2125[1]Then, cut through the middle lengthwise. Don't go all the way to the top, so you don't end up halving the onion again.

IMG_2128[1]Lay the onion down and cut strips down the length.

IMG_2129[1]Now chop the rest up and you'll end with lovely small bits. Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon!

IMG_2130[1]STEP 3: Sauté the onions and fresh tomatoes in some butter for about 10 minutes.

IMG_2132[1]STEP 4: Add the pesto, tomato purée and the stock cube (if using canned tomato, add now), stir until combined.

IMG_2134[1]STEP 5: Add the milk or water, stir until incorporated and add the cream cheese.

IMG_2133[1]STEP 6: Let this gently simmer for about three minutes or until there are no more cream cheese chunks.

IMG_21351STEP 7: Add salt and pepper if needed and serve with your pasta!


  • For some variation, roast fresh tomatoes and a red bell pepper in the oven until soft. Chop up and add at step four. Of course you can add loads of veggies to this!
  • Taste your sauce first before adding salt or pepper; the pesto might be salty too and in combination with the stock cube should provide enough seasoning.
  • Add more or less milk/water to make for a thinner or thicker sauce. You'll need less liquid if you're using canned tomato
  • Add fresh basil for a pop of colour.
  • If you've only got half a jar of pesto left, put milk/water in it and shake to get every last bit out.

This sauce is also tasty with some grilled chicken breasts and mushroom.

  1. I occassionally make an even easier version of something like this: canned red pasta sauce and cream cheese. The best part is that you can even heat it up in the microwave (although it's better on the stove). This recipe looks especially flavorful though, with the onions and pesto. Yum!

  2. Conversion to silly American units!

    2 medium sized onions
    10.5 oz cherry tomatoes (or 1 can of chopped tomatoes, which I didn't have right now)
    3.5 oz tomato purée
    Half a jar of green pesto, about 1/2 c.
    3.5 oz cream cheese (about half of a block)
    1 c. milk or water
    1 beef stock cube
    Salt and pepper
    Pasta, according to the number of people you're feeding
    Some butter or oil

    This looks delicious!

  3. Thank you! Love the post of a sweet and simple tomato pesto sauce. My fiance doesn't like a straight tomato sauce, so some mashup will go over well – especially as we both suffer from hangry quite often

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