Pink sauce pasta is the best easy 20-minute dinner recipe! This creamy tomato sauce (also called rose sauce) is made without heavy cream, and is so delicious!
Pink Sauce Pasta
This pink sauce is so creamy, and it’s just exploding with flavor! You can seriously just eat it by the spoonful.
It’s so easy to whip up, and it would be perfect for a last minute dinner idea that everyone in the family will love. You’ll think you had a creamy pasta dish delivered from one of your favorite restaurants!
Why Is It Called Pink Sauce?
It’s called pink sauce because of its gorgeous characteristic pink or orange color. The cream mixed with the tomato sauce produces a pasta sauce in a lovely pink hue.
Is Rosa Sauce The Same As Vodka Sauce?
They are both pink sauces that get a lot of their flavor from combining tomato sauce with a creamy element – like heavy cream or cheese. The main difference is that vodka sauce uses vodka as an ingredient, while pink sauce does not.
What Is Pink Sauce Made Of?
The ingredients for this pink sauce pasta are penne pasta, butter, garlic, onion, tomato sauce, dried oregano, fine sea salt, dried basil, chicken broth, milk, cream cheese, mozzarella, and fresh parsley.
How To Make Pink Sauce Pasta
While you have the pasta cooking in a pot of salted water, start the sauce. Saute the onions in butter, then add the garlic. Pour the tomato sauce and chicken broth into the skillet, and sprinkle in the basil, oregano, and salt.
Next, you’ll add in the cream cheese and milk, and stir constantly until the cream cheese is melted. Mix in the mozzarella and let it thicken before tossing the pasta with the sauce, and serve. See the recipe card below for the full instructions with ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
What Does Pink Sauce Taste Like?
There’s a reason that this is such a popular dish, tomatoes and cream are pretty much a match made in heaven. It has the fresh tomato flavor from the tomato sauce, but it’s mixed with the creamy and cheesy flavors, too. If you like dishes where tomatoes and cheese are mixed, like pizza, or chicken parmesan, I’m sure you’ll also like this pasta!
Can You Add Milk To Tomato Sauce Without Curdling?
It depends on the recipe and the instructions. Tomatoes are very acidic, which is what can cause tomato based foods to curdle when you mix milk in.
In this recipe, we’re using very little milk, and we’re including foods with quite a bit of fat (like butter and cream cheese). The combination of those means you don’t have to worry about that here. It’s still important to only simmer this sauce, do not let it boil.
If you’re still worried about it, you can mix a pinch of baking soda into the tomato sauce before you add the milk and cream cheese. Just a pinch though – a little goes a long way. Baking soda helps neutralize the acid in the tomato sauce, which reduces the risk of curdling, and also makes the creamy tomato sauce taste sweeter.
Can I Use Milk Instead Of Cream In Pasta Sauce?
It depends on the sauce, but generally, yes. This is an easier substitution to make if the sauce doesn’t have acid in it, like an Alfredo sauce. I would still opt for whole milk for the added flavor and creaminess.
If you’re using it in a sauce with acidic ingredients (like tomatoes or lemon juice) using whole milk will work the best. The additional fat in whole milk helps prevent the sauce from curdling.
Milk is also more prone to separating than heavy whipping cream is, so it’s important to only let it simmer when you’re making a pasta sauce, never let it boil.
What To Serve It With
I love serving tomato basil cream sauce over penne, but there are lots of different noodle options you can choose, and some protein options that would be a delicious addition. Try serving it with garlic bread and a side salad for a classic Italian-inspired meal!
- Protein: Chicken, shrimp, salmon, roasted vegetables, seafood, sausage, ground beef.
- Pasta: Fettuccine, spaghetti, gnocchi, cheese tortellini.
If you love spicy pastas, try adding some crushed chili flakes at the same time as the dried herbs.
Keep In Touch
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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire pasta recipe section! It’s filled with delicious and quick dinner ideas. Some reader favorites are:
- Creamy Rasta Pasta
- Spicy Chicken Pasta
- Mexican Spaghetti
If you’re looking for an easy family meal that adults and kids will like, this pink sauce pasta is the recipe for you! It’s super quick to make, and it uses pantry-friendly ingredients.