Sometimes your taste buds need a kick in the pants. They get a little too confident in themselves taking on white bread, milk, and vanilla day in and day out. Give them something that fights back. Like a classic creamy tomato pasta sauce laced with fiery habañero peppers.
My kitchen used to be stocked with jars of store-bought pasta sauce. Somewhere along the way I got the impression that homemade sauce was rocket science. It’s not at all. This classic creamy tomato sauce is perfect for customization – in this case, lose the heavy cream and substitute Greek yogurt. Plus add some habañeros.
If you don’t like the kick from the peppers, you can easily exclude them from this recipe! On the other hand, if you’re like me and you love tears-in-your-eyes spicy, then by all means, add more habañeros. You can also play around with removing the seeds and ribs – ditch them for a little less heat. Leave them in (like I did here) for a little more. This is a “choose your own destiny” type of deal.
Balance that heat with some dairy. The Greek yogurt and parmesan will take the habañero from a sharp spiciness to a full flavor. Never fear, spicy fans – we’re still talking some hot pasta sauce here. It’s just got a lot more body this way.
Hold on to your hats, folks.
Creamy (Greek Yogurt) Tomato Habañero Sauce
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 2-3 servings
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped (approximately 1.5 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced (add more if you like!)
1-2 habañero peppers, minced incl. seeds and ribs (again, add more if you like!)
1 12-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
3/4 – 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 – 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional extra for garnish)
Bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped
2-3 cups (uncooked) tri-color rotini pasta (or equivalent alternate pasta)
1. Heat oil in large pan. Add onions and cook until soft, but not browned (approximately 2-3 mins). Add garlic and habañeros and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens (approximately 15 mins). Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Immediately prior to serving, add yogurt, parmesan, and basil. Add salt to taste. Toss pasta with sauce and serve.