From America's Test Kitchen Season 9: Perfecting Pasta Sauces
In the best examples of creamy tomato sauce, the acidity of fruity tomatoes is balanced with the richness of dairy; the worst deliver instant heartburn and make you wish the two elements had never met. We wanted a smooth, full-flavored tomato sauce enriched with, but not overwhelmed by, cream.
Readily available, canned crushed tomatoes trumped canned whole and diced tomatoes—theyíre bright in flavor, easy to puree in the food processor, and contain just the right amount of juice. Before adding the tomatoes to the pot, we cooked a few tablespoons of tomato paste with some onion and garlic, and added sun-dried tomatoes, to deepen the flavor of the sauce. A pinch of red pepper flakes, a splash of wine, and a little minced prosciutto added depth and tamed some of the sauce's sweetness; a bit of reserved uncooked crushed tomatoes and another splash of wine stirred in before serving brought the sauce's ingredients together. As for the cream, traditional heavy cream can't be beat; we added it to the just-finished sauce to enrich it without subduing the bright tomato flavor.
This sauce is best served with short pasta, such as ziti, penne, or fusilli.