You Have to Make This Two-Ingredient Cheese Pasta Sauce.

I’m old enough to remember when sun-dried tomatoes first went out of style. They were everywhere: in savory baked goods, grilled pasta dishes, mashed cheese spreads, and then—suddenly—they were gone, clumsy, unwanted.

But I’ve always liked them. They’re sweet, tangy, and full of minds, and they have a certain mid-’90s elegance to them, like a dirty martini. They taste good and I’m tired of people pretending they aren’t.

At least one other person seems to feel the same way. Not only did Emma Laperroux include dried love apples in her creamy cheese spread recipe , but she also brought them to the forefront. Her pasta sauce has exactly two ingredients—cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes—and honestly? It’s fucking .

It seems too easy, it’s as easy as making a box of craft macaroni and cheese. Chop a few sun-dried tomatoes, mash them into cream cheese, then dilute it with heavily salted pasta water before tossing the mixture into your chosen pasta shape. Laperruque also fries capers in tomato oil for a crunchy topping, which I would do if I didn’t have capers (sad!).

The sauce is creamy and delicious thanks to fragrant sun-dried tomatoes. It’s good on its own, but it’s a great base for your choice of protein (grilled salmon or chicken for a real ’90s vibe) or any grilled vegetable. I made it twice, and the second time I added even more sun-dried tomatoes, because I love them very much. The 90s are back, baby, and this pasta sauce proves it.

Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce (adapted very slightly from Food52)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of pasta of your choice
  • 4 oz full fat cream cheese
  • 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt

Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes, then mash them with the cream cheese and set aside. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, saving a cup of starchy salt water.

Add 1/4 of the water to the cream cheese mixture and stir until liquid. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, adding more water as needed to thin it out, keeping in mind that it will thicken a bit as it cools. Serve immediately with plenty of fresh basil, crunchy original recipe capers, or your favorite protein and/or vegetables.

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