Spicy Tomato Pasta with Prosciutto

Bow tie pasta is tossed in a spicy tomato cream sauce with prosciutto then topped with fresh basil and parmesan! This spicy tomato pasta with prosciutto is a cozy satisfying meal your whole family will love!

A large wooden spoon digging into a bowl of spicy tomato pasta with prosciutto

Spicy tomato pasta with prosciutto is staple weeknight meal in our family. It’s rich, creamy, full of bold robust flavors and the sauce it just *chef’s kiss* so good! It’s a tomato cream sauce base that’s seasoned with lots of Italian spices and red pepper flakes and loaded with prosciutto! Plus it comes together in no time at all – so you can have a tasty dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Growing up my family called this dish “pasta with vodka sauce” even though we never used vodka and I’m pretty sure there’s no prosciutto involved either…😂 Either way, we’ve been making it for friends and family for years and it’s one of our most requested pasta recipes!

Ingredients used to make spicy tomato pasta with prosciutto

Ingredients For Your Spicy Tomato Pasta

  • Pasta: We love using bow tie pasta (farfalle) for this recipe! (It’s such a fun shape!😉) You can also use penne, rigatoni, rotini or your favorite pasta noodles.
  • Prosciutto: You’ll need at least 1 8oz. package for this recipe. (My family prefers this dish a little more meat heavy so I’ll usually use 2 packages.)
  • Onion: Any type of onion works for this recipe. (We’ll use red or white onion depending on what we have on hand.)
  • Garlic: A necessity for any pasta sauce!
  • Canned crushed tomatoes: I usually prefer fire roasted crushed tomatoes if I can find them. (I just love their slightly smoky flavor.)
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon of white sugar goes into your sauce. (DON’T skip this step! It helps balance the acidity from your tomato sauce.)
  • Heavy cream: You’ll need 1 cup of heavy cream to mix into your sauce making it so rich and creamy! (Dairy free heavy cream can be used instead.)
  • Spices: Dried basil, dried parsley, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper are needed to spice up your sauce!
A large skillet filled with a spicy tomato and prosciutto cream sauce
A large skillet filled with bow tie pasta freshly tossed in a spicy tomato cream sauce

How To Make Pasta with Vodka Sauce

1. Cook your pasta. Boil your pasta noodles according to the package’s directions then set them aside.

2. Prepare the sauce. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil to the pan. Once hot, add your onions and sauté them until they just begin to soften. (About 1-2 minutes) Then add your chopped prosciutto and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the prosciutto is cooked all the way through. (About 2-3 more minutes) Next add your crushed tomatoes, sugar, dried basil and parsley and give it a good stir. Generously season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Then turn the burner down to medium-low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. (Your sauce will thicken and reduce down slightly.)

3. Finish the sauce. Once the sauce has reduced, taste it and adjust your seasonings if needed. Then stir in your heavy cream.

4. Toss & serve! Toss the cooked pasta in your sauce and serve immediately with shredded parmesan and sliced basil on top.

A close up photo of bow tie pasta tossed in a creamy tomato sauce with prosciutto

FAQ’s

  • Do I have to add sugar to my sauce? Yes! Adding sugar is an important step because it helps balance your flavors and acidity from the tomato sauce.
  • Will adding sugar make my sauce too sweet? Not at all! We’re adding such a small amount that it won’t alter the flavor.
A large serving bowl filled with spicy tomato pasta surrounded by a bowl of shredded parmesan and fresh basil leaves

Why you’ll love this spicy tomato pasta recipe!

  • An easy weeknight dinner! This dish uses simple ingredients & comes together in 30 minutes!
  • Big flavors! A spicy tomato cream sauce seasoned with lots of Italian spices & loaded with prosciutto! Top it with shredded parmesan and fresh basil for even more flavor!

Need it gluten free? Use your favorite gluten free pasta instead!

Need it dairy free? Replace regular heavy cream with dairy-free heavy cream. (Our favorite is from Silk.)

More pasta recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]

Spicy Tomato Pasta with Prosciutto

Bow tie pasta is tossed in a spicy tomato cream sauce with prosciutto then topped with fresh basil and parmesan! This spicy tomato pasta with prosciutto is a cozy satisfying meal your whole family will love!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Comfort Food, Italian
Keyword: bow tie pasta, pasta recipes, prosciutto, spicy tomato pasta
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • 1-2 8oz. packages prosciutto, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28oz. canned crushed tomatoes (I use fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream*
  • Tbsp dried basil
  • Tbsp dried parsley
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions

  • Boil your pasta according to the package's directions then set them aside.
  • Next heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil to the pan. Once hot, add your onions and sauté them until they just begin to soften. (About 1-2 minutes)
  • Then add your chopped prosciutto and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the prosciutto is cooked all the way through. (About 2-3 more minutes)
  • Next add your crushed tomatoes, sugar, dried basil and parsley and give it a good stir. Generously season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Then turn the burner down to medium-low and let it simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. (Your sauce will thicken and reduce down slightly.)
  • Once the sauce has reduced, taste it and adjust your seasonings if needed. Then stir in your heavy cream.
  • Toss the cooked pasta in your sauce and serve immediately with shredded parmesan and sliced basil on top.

Notes

*Dairy-free heavy cream can be used instead.
My family prefers this dish more “meat heavy” so I usually use 2 packages of prosciutto.

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