Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe
Need some inspiration for your pasta and tomato sauce? Bump it up a notch with this mellow, decadent pink sauce pasta recipe. Just a simple creamy tomato sauce flavored with onions, garlic, Parmesan, fresh basil (and a splash of spirits if you like).
Servings (change as needed): 2
- recipe can be doubled or tripled in a larger pan
- 150 g (5 oz) pasta or ravioli, Note 1 I use about 225g for filled ravioli
- Garnish: chopped fresh basil, extra Parmesan cheese
- see Note 2 for substitutions
- 2 tablespoon butter (or 1 tbsp butter +1 tbsp olive oil)
- 1/2 cup (26g) finely chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoon sherry, fortified wine, white wine (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon bouillon powder (chicken or vegetable)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Passata (tomato puree) NOT tomato paste
- 1/2 cup (120ml) half and half cream (10%)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup (11g) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
BOIL PASTA: in salted water as per package directions, cooking a minute less (it will finish cooking in sauce). Drain and set aside.
MAKE PINK SAUCE: While pasta is boiling, make the sauce. Heat butter (or butter/olive oil) to medium heat in a medium pan. If doubling the recipe, use a large pan. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and bouillon powder (and red pepper flakes if using). Gently sauté for 4-5 minutes until onions are very soft. Add sherry, if using, and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato puree, cream, Parmesan and most of the basil. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, chili flakes, Parmesan or basil as desired.
ASSEMBLE: Add cooked pasta to sauce. Toss to combine well with sauce and heat through for 1-2 minutes. Serve, garnished with additional chopped basil and Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta if you like.
Nutrition values are estimates and do not include the optional sherry, red pepper flakes or garnish.
- Pasta: instead of ravioli, try tortellini, spaghetti, ziti, penne pasta, farfelle, gnocchi, linguine, rigatoni, angel hair pasta, etc.
- Substitutions/variations for pink sauce
- Sherry: instead, use fortified wine, white wine or vodka
- Bouillon powder: if you don't have any, leave it out and adjust with salt, pepper, more basil and garlic to your taste.
- Passata/tomato puree: Passata is simply pureed tomatoes with a touch of salt. Substitute it with a good basic tomato sauce (e.g White Linen marinara sauce from Costco) or traditional marinara sauce. If you don't have a red sauce, you can use canned tomatoes without the juice, but you will have to cook them down for about 10 minutes before adding the cream to make a sauce.
- Cream: substitute heavy cream (for a more decadent rich sauce) or any milk (for a lower calorie/fat option).
- Fresh basil: Substitute 1-2 tsp dried basil or Italian seasoning. Or other fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano.
- Pasta Water: If you need to thicken the sauce more, save and add a little pasta water which has starch from the pasta.
- Add-ins: For a more substantial meal, feel free to add cooked Italian sausage, chicken, shrimp, tofu or crumbled bacon.
- Make Ahead:
- The sauce can be made a few days ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to serve, heat on stove in a large pot and add freshly cooked pasta.
- Leftovers can be warmed, covered, in the microwave. Add 1-2 tablespoon of milk or water to loosen up the pasta if needed.
Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1051mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1151IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 2mg