The perfect blend of tomato and cream sauce, this pasta with pink sauce is one of our favorite dishes to make and comes together so quickly! Just a handful of ingredients and a quick cooking time gets lunch or dinner on the table in a flash.
What is pink sauce?
In the Middle East, pasta pink sauce is one of the most popular restaurant dishes to order. It’s a blend of tomato and cream sauce, so the resulting pasta sauce is colored pink. It’s really delicious! It has tang from the tomato sauce, and creaminess from white sauce without being too rich and heavy. It makes creamy sauced pasta more approachable!
Ingredients in pasta with pink sauce:
Pasta: I like using penne- it’s the most typical way to make pink sauce pasta, but you can use any pasta you like.
Tomato passata: This is not the same thing as tomato paste. You’ll find jars labeled passata in the same section you find canned tomatoes and sauce. It’s basically pureed and strained uncooked or lightly cooked tomatoes. If you can’t find it, you can substitute tomato puree or tomato sauce.
The creamy part: A mix between heavy cream (whipping cream) and milk. This is another great way to keep the pasta from being too heavy with all heavy cream.
The flavoring: The sauce starts off with a base of olive oil and butter, in which we cook onion and garlic. This gets the flavor going.
Added to this are the spices: simply dried basil (can sub Italian seasoning if you want), red chili flakes, salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar which helps with the acidity of the tomatoes. The crumbled bouillon cube (you can use veggie stock too) adds a lot of flavor, depth and some salt to the dish too.
The cheese: I use mozzarella cheese that’s stirred into the sauce at the last minute making it gooey and delicious. You can also top the completed dish with some fresh Parmesan if desired or extra mozzarella.
How to make pink sauce pasta:
First make the pasta. You’ll cook it according to package instructions, until pasta is al dente, then you’ll drain the pasta but reserve a little pasta water. Be careful not too overcook, since it’ll get added back to the pink sauce and soften a little further.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large enough skillet to fit all the pasta ingredients over medium heat until the butter melts.
Next, add the diced onion and saute until softened. Once the onion is soft, the garlic goes in for another minute or until fragrant.
Add the tomato passata and all the herbs and simmer for just a few minutes.
The last step is adding the milk, the cream and the shredded mozzarella cheese and stirring until a thick pink sauce forms.
Add the cooked pasta back into the skillet and stir until the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce. If it’s too thick, add a splash of pasta water to loosen.
That’s it! A delicious meal in a flash!
Tips for pink sauce success:
-Make sure not to overcook the pasta so it doesn’t get too soft when you add it back to the sauce.
-Cook the onions through thoroughly until soft- they won’t cook further when you add the tomato passata.
-Adjust the seasoning to your taste. The bouillon cube will add saltiness, so taste before adding any salt.
-Make it as creamy and as cheesy as you like. The amounts indicated are my perfect balance.
Can I use other types of pasta with pink sauce?
Yes! I made this with ravioli and it was absolutely delicious. You can also use spaghetti, elbow macaroni, linguine, whatever you like!
What to serve pink pasta with:
This pairs well with a simple salad, or go the other end of the spectrum with dinner rolls or garlic bread.
I love having any pasta with garlic confit.
Try with some protein on the side, like these easy oven baked chicken breasts. I also had pasta as a side to a simple steak once and it was superb. You can try breaded chicken or veal too.
Mix in some cooked shrimp or chicken for a more substantial meal.
Pink Sauce Pasta
- 300 g pasta of choice, I used penne
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 cups tomato passata (or puree or sauce-not tomato paste)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
- pinch sugar
- sprinkle of red chili flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomato passata, dried basil, crumbled chicken bouillon cube, sugar, red chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the cream, milk and the shredded mozzarella.
- Add the cooked pasta, toss to combine and warm through for a few minutes. If sauce is too thick, add a splash of pasta water. Enjoy immediately!
Penne With Pink Sauce by everylittlecrumb on Jumprope.
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