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This easy pink sauce pasta recipe will bring a fun twist to your regular pasta night. It’s creamy, tangy, slightly sweet, and a little bit spicy too! The best part? This pink pasta dish is made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and it’s ready in just 20 minutes – perfect for a busy weeknight!
This quick & easy homemade pink pasta sauce coats any pasta you toss it with for a creamy, tangy dish that’s a total crowd pleaser.
What is pink pasta sauce made of? This creamy tomato sauce is a blend of tomato and cream, giving it a beautiful pink color that’s visually appealing and packed with flavors your whole family will love.
We chose whole wheat penne for a bit more fiber and whole grains, but this creamy sauce is versatile enough to pair with any type of pasta!
It’s hearty enough on its own, or feel free to serve this easy pasta recipe alongside some roasted veggies or a simple salad for a bigger meal.
No matter how you serve it, I guarantee this creamy pink sauce pasta recipe is going to be a new favorite in your home! It’s comforting, satisfying, and so tasty you won’t be able to stop eating it!
✔️ What Is Pink Sauce?
Pasta pink sauce is made from a simple combination of tomatoes and cream sauce! It’s called “pink sauce”, because it is a pasta sauce with a pink hue. The color comes from adding a dairy product like sour cream, heavy cream, or cream cheese to the tomato-based sauce. The dairy dilutes and lightens the red into a soft pink hue.
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Super Easy: This easy pink pasta sauce recipe is incredibly easy to follow, and has just 5 minutes of prep time, making it perfect for a quick, delicious meal on a busy weeknight.
- Healthier: Pink sauce penne pasta uses whole wheat penne pasta, a healthier alternative to regular pasta, offering a higher fiber content.
- Budget Friendly: This delicious pasta sauce is made with canned diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, and sour cream, which are readily available and affordable.
- Easy To Customize: The penne pink sauce pasta is versatile and can be tweaked according to your dietary needs. You can make it more or less spicy, or add different flavors. See our variations below for suggestions!
- Family Friendly: The whole family will enjoy the balance of flavors in this tangy pink pasta.
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To create this delicious pink pasta sauce, you will need the following simple ingredients:
- Whole Wheat Penne Pasta: The nutty flavor of whole wheat penne is a tasty base for the sauce. Whole wheat pasta adds fiber and nutrients compared to regular pasta.
- Olive Oil: Good quality olive oil provides a fruity depth of flavor when sautéing the aromatics.
- Onion & Garlic: Onion and minced garlic adds an aromatic foundation and sweetness when sautéed.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Puree: The diced tomatoes and tomato puree (or marinara sauce) are the base for this rosa pasta sauce! Together, they enrich the sauce with with savory tomato flavor.
- Oregano & Basil: Earthy, woodsy oregano complements the other Italian flavors. Fresh basil leaves provide a pop of color and fragrant finish when torn over the hot pasta.
- Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes: Salt enhances the flavors while pepper provides a little spice. A touch of heat from red pepper flakes livens up the pink pasta recipe.
- Sour Cream: Stirring in cool, tangy sour cream turns this into a creamy tomato pasta sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese: Nutty, salty parmesan cheese adds a savory accent. Use vegetarian parmesan (which uses non-animal rennet) to make this rosé sauce vegetarian friendly.
- Pasta: Substitute whole wheat penne with any short whole grain pasta shapes like farfalle pasta or rotini for variety. Elbow macaroni is also a great option. You can even try this spicy blush sauce with ravioli or tortellini if you’d like!
- Oil: Instead of olive oil, use avocado or grapeseed oil for different flavor profiles.
- Onion: Yellow, white or red onions are great options. Onion powder can also be added to the red sauce for extra flavor.
- Garlic: Adjust amount of garlic to taste or substitute with garlic powder.
- Tomatoes: Swap canned tomatoes for diced whole tomatoes when in season for maximum flavor.
- Marinara: Substitute marinara with any tomato-based pasta sauce like arrabbiata or vodka sauce. Feel free to add a bit of tomato paste, tomato puree, or tomato passata for extra tomato flavor in this rose alfredo sauce. You can also substitute plain tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, or pasta sauce for the marinara. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Herbs: Replace oregano with a dried Italian seasoning blend, or use fresh herbs like parsley or rosemary in this recipe for pink pasta sauce.
- Spice: Avoid red pepper flakes or use paprika instead for less heat.
- Dairy: Try regular cream cheese, heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, or double cream instead of the sour cream in this rose tomato sauce.
- Greens: Add baby spinach leaves instead of basil for color and nutrition.
- Cheese: Use any hard cheese like Asiago or pecorino instead of the parmesan.
🔪 How To Make Pink Pasta Sauce
This creamy pink sauce recipe comes together in minutes, leaving everyone asking for more! See how to make pink penne pasta with our step-by-step instructions and images.
Boil Pasta: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook as directed on the packaging. Drain the cooked pasta and set aside.
Sauté Onion: In a separate pot or large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion until soft, 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add the fresh garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
Add Sauce Ingredients: Next, stir through the crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, oregano, dried red pepper flakes, torn basil leaves, salt, and pepper.
Adjust Flavor: Reduce to medium-low heat and gently simmer this spicy rose sauce while stirring. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add sour cream and stir through.
Add Pasta: When the pasta is just cooked, strain it and add the drained pasta to the pink marinara sauce. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes while stirring. You can add a little pasta water if the sauce needs help sticking to the pasta.
Finish & Serve Rosa Sauce Pasta: Stir through ½ of the grated parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust the seasonings with some more black pepper, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice if needed. Serve penne with pink sauce hot with remaining grated parmesan cheese.
💭 Expert Tips
- Pasta Al Dente: Aim to cook the pasta until it is “al dente” by following the package instructions. Testing the pasta a minute or two before the suggested cooking time will prevent it from becoming overcooked and mushy when combined with the cream sauce.
- Don’t Boil: Gently simmer the sauce on low heat, if you end up boiling it or cooking it on too high heat, the rose pasta sauce may split.
- Double The Recipe: If you anticipate leftovers or want to meal prep, it’s a great idea to double this creamy pasta recipe. Having extra pink sauce pasta allows the flavors to develop and improve with time, and it can be a convenient solution for future meals.
- Smoother Sauce: This blush pasta sauce is slightly chunky due to the diced tomatoes, if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can either eliminate the diced tomatoes and use 2½ cup marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes or you can use an immersion blender to pureé the sauce before adding it to the pasta.
- Roasted Red Pepper Pink Sauce: Roast 2 red bell peppers in the oven until the skin is charred and blistered. Allow the peppers to cool, then remove the skin and seeds. Chop the roasted peppers into small pieces. Sauté the onions and garlic as mentioned in the original recipe, then add the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, oregano, and roasted red peppers. Continue with the rest of the recipe, adjusting the seasoning to taste.
- Add In Veggies: Try stirring in sauteed broccoli, sautéed spinach or diced zucchini along with the penne for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Mushroom Pink Sauce: Dice 8 ounces of mushrooms (such as button or cremini) and sauté them with the onions and garlic in olive oil. Once the mushrooms are tender, add the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Let this pink creamy pasta sauce simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, and then proceed with the remaining steps of the original recipe.
- Roasted Garlic Pink Sauce For Pasta: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the top off a whole garlic bulb, drizzle it with olive oil, and wrap it in aluminum foil. Roast the garlic in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft and golden. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and mash them into a paste. Sauté the onions and roasted garlic, then add the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Continue with the rest of the recipe, adjusting the seasoning if necessary.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
- Garlic Bread And Salad: Serve this Italian pink sauce pasta recipe with a side of my air fryer garlic bread. The warm, buttery slices of bread will pair perfectly with the flavorful pasta. Add a refreshing light side dish like my keto Greek salad for a filling, healthy meal.
- Roasted Vegetables: For a large gathering or a hungry crowd, serve this tomato pink sauce pasta as the main event alongside a medley of extra veggies. Some great options are this cheesy baked asparagus as well as my recipe for roasted green beans and potatoes.
- Caprese Salad: Create a fresh and vibrant combination by serving a classic Caprese salad alongside your penne pasta with pink sauce. Arrange slices of juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves on a platter. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or a simple olive oil, salt, and pepper dressing.
🙌 Dietary Adaptations
Vegan Pink Sauce: Use vegan sour cream and vegan parmesan for a vegan friendly pasta dish!
Gluten Free Option: Simply substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta for the whole wheat penne to make this recipe gluten free.
In the Fridge: After preparing the creamy pink pasta sauce recipe, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before storage. Transfer the leftover pasta to an airtight container, ensuring a tight seal. It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
In the Freezer: While you can freeze this pink tomato sauce with pasta, the texture may change once it’s reheated so just keep that in mind! To freeze, place it in freezer-safe containers or bags, and label them with the date. This dish can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Thaw the rose sauce for pasta in the refrigerator overnight or defrost it in the microwave. Reheat gently on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Enjoy the sauce once it reaches a safe temperature. Add a splash of water if the pasta and sauce is too dry.
Pink sauce pasta is a simple sauce made of tomatoes and cream! In Italy, it’s called rosa pasta or pasta rosa, Italian rosa sauce, parma rosa, or rosatella.
Just about any types of pasta work with this pink cream sauce! Short tubular or curly kinds of pasta like penne, rotini, or farfalle work well. The thick sauce clings to the nooks and crannies. Whole wheat or veggie pastas provide nutrition.
🍝 More Tasty Pasta Recipes!
- Red Lentil Pasta Recipe
- Healthy Garlic Pasta
- Tofu Pasta
- Tahini Pasta
- Healthy Gnocchi Recipe
- Vegetarian Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Rasta Pasta
- Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe
- Baked Vegan Pasta With Roasted Vegetables
- Easy Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce with Whole Wheat Pasta
- Vegan Pasta Primavera
Love this plant based pasta recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
Pink Sauce Pasta
- 12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 14 oz canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup tomato puree or marinara sauce
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ⅛ tsp dried red pepper flakes
- ½ cup sour cream or vegan sour cream
- fresh basil leaves
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan, optional
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook as directed on the packaging.
- In a separate pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion until soft, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
- Next, stir through the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, oregano, dried red pepper flakes, torn basil leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Reduce heat and gently simmer while stirring. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add sour cream and stir through. (Optional: for a smoother sauce, puree with an immersion blender).
- When the pasta is just cooked, strain it and mix through the sauce. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes while stirring.
- Stir through ½ of the grated parmesan cheese if using.
- Serve hot with remaining grated parmesan cheese.
- This sauce is slightly chunky due to the diced tomatoes, if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can either eliminate the diced tomatoes and use 2½ cup marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes or you can use an immersion blender to pureé the sauce before adding it to the pasta.
- Sour cream can be substituted with heavy cream or half and half.
- Gently simmer the sauce on low heat, as boiling may cause the sauce to split.
- To make this vegan-friendly substitute the sour cream and parmesan cheese with vegan-friendly options.
- Use gluten-free pasta for a delicious gluten-free meal.
- More red pepper flakes can be added for a spicer meal.
- Don’t overcook the pasta; otherwise, it will start to fall apart when mixed with the sauce.