Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
25 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pasta in 4 quarts boiling water with 1/4 teaspoon salt for 8 minutes or until noodles are almost al dente. Drain pasta through a sieve over a bowl; reserve 1 1/3 cups pasta cooking water.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until very fragrant and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and tomatoes; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved 1 1/3 cups pasta water; bring to a boil. Add cream cheese; stir until smooth. Add pasta, olives, and red pepper; cook 3 minutes or until pasta is al dente, tossing to coat. Divide pasta mixture among 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon basil. Divide Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly among servings.

Ratings & Reviews

sprky182's Review

February 16, 2015
I wanted to like this recipe because I love oil-cured olives but even with their salty zip, the pasta was pretty bland.

smiths37's Review

July 31, 2014
The oil cured olives really make this dish! I found mine at Whole Foods in the olive bar as "sun-dried olives". These have WAY more flavor than regular old canned black olives. I boiled my sauce down a little bit longer since another reviewer noted it was too runny. Overall, we loved it (and my boyfriend sprinkled a little crispy bacon over the top).

dyebo2's Review

July 25, 2013

TorreyS's Review

May 06, 2013
I have cooked MANY Cooking Light recipes and I am almost always very pleased. But this one let me down. The sauce was very uninteresting and could have been a little thicker. I added a small amount of cornstarch at one point to help with thickening towards the end. Very little flavor. Won't make again.

ErrikaEats's Review

November 17, 2012
This recipe is delicious!! Use fresh pasta found in the refrigerator section and opt for the best canned tomatoes your store has.

dlgarcia1's Review

October 29, 2012

bellymama's Review

October 18, 2012
This sauce was okay. It lacked depth. We called it "pink sauce" and my 3 year old loved it. I served it with a kale salad.

DreamKrushR's Review

August 24, 2012

managermom's Review

August 22, 2012
carolw This is a very easy and quick dish. It is delicious. I always add more garlic and basil than the recipe states and it turned out wonderful. I also used the fire roasted tomatoes.

gcatkids's Review

August 14, 2012
This is going to be added to my standbys. It was delicious and easy to make.I added chopped onions and I pan fried 2 cubed chicken thighs seasoned with onion and garlic powder and 2 sliced italian sausage links and added them at the end. I added a can of chopped black olives, drained, since I didn't have the type called for on the recipe. Next time I will definately add mushrooms as that was the only other thing it needed.