Pink sauce pasta is creamy, pretty and utterly delicious. Whether you’re looking for the best Valentine’s Day pasta or a quick everyday treat, this creamy pink sauce is restaurant-worthy and ready in just 20 minutes.
Pink pasta sauce is just perfect for those days when you’re not sure whether you want a creamy or a tomato-based pasta sauce.
If you love pasta as much as I do, I’m pretty sure you’ve had this debate more than once at dinner time.
This creamy pink sauce pasta recipe has the best of both worlds because it blends the tanginess of the tomatoes with a creamy texture.
This is a rich, velvety sauce that’s just perfect on its own or as a base for any pasta dish you may think of, including shrimp, chicken, or just some spinach.
As you can see from the pics, this pink pasta sauce recipe is also very pretty, which makes it ideal as a date night pasta!
What do you need to make pink sauce pasta?
Unsalted butter — Sauteeing the shallots and garlic in butter instead of olive oil sets the base for an extra creamy sauce.
Shallots — The mild flavour of shallots is perfect for this delicate sauce. However, you can substitute them with regular onion if you want.
Garlic — Fresh garlic is best in this recipe and you can either chop it very finely or crush it.
Red chilli flakes — You only need a quarter of a teaspoon of red chilli flakes to give this pink pasta sauce a bit of a kick.
Red wine — This is optional and you don’t have to use it if you don’t like to cook with wine. However, I find that it’s the secret ingredient that turns this pink pasta sauce into something truly special.
Double cream — While a mix of double cream (heavy cream) and whole milk is best for this pink pasta sauce because it makes it extra creamy, you can use just milk if you want to cut down on calories. You will need to let the sauce bubble for a couple more minutes to thicken. The final result won’t have the same level of creaminess, though.
Fresh basil — A handful of shredded fresh basil leaves will infuse the sauce with a herby flavour. You can reserve some extra fresh basil to top each bowl before serving.
Parmesan — Parmiggiano Reggiano is perfect for this pink pasta sauce, but if you want to make it vegetarian, you’ll have to substitute it with a veggie-friendly hard cheese alternative.
How to make it?
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Add the red chilli flakes, then pour in the red wine and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the alcohol mostly evaporates.
Stir in the passata (tomato sauce) and bring to a simmer.
Add the double cream and milk and allow the sauce to bubble for 1-2 minutes.
Next, stir in the fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan.
Season with freshly ground black pepper, then transfer the cooked pasta to the pan. Toss to cover the pasta in sauce, then stir in the fresh parsley.
Season to taste and serve immediately with some extra grated Parmesan on top if you like.
Make this pink sauce pasta vegan
It’s super easy to make this creamy pink sauce vegan.
All you have to do is use plant-based butter and replace the double cream and milk combo with cashew cream or coconut milk.
When it comes to the Parmesan, you can either skip it or sub with a plant-based version.
Recipe notes and tips
- This pink pasta sauce goes well with shrimp or chicken. You can simply add any extras to the sauce at the end, just before stirring in the pasta.
- You can add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning for extra flavour.
- If the sauce looks too thick after stirring in the pasta, add some of the reserved pasta water until it reaches the desired consistency.
- This pasta is best served immediately, but leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s best to reheat it in the microwave.
If you liked this pink sauce pasta, you might also like some of my other easy vegetarian pasta recipes:
- Creamy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Walnuts
- Pasta alla Cenere (Gorgonzola and Black Olive Pasta)
- Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce
- Pistachio Pasta Sauce
- 250 g (8.8 oz) pasta
- 40 g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 75 ml (⅓ cup) dry red wine
- 200 ml (1 cup) passata (tomato puree)
- 200 ml (1 cup) double cream
- 100 ml (½ cup) whole milk
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- 30 g (⅓ cup)grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat a large, deep pan or a Dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter in it. Saute the shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes until they soften.
- Add the red chilli flakes, then pour in the red wine and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the alcohol mostly evaporates.
- Stir in the passata (tomato sauce) and bring to a simmer. Add the double cream and milk and allow the sauce to bubble for 1-2 minutes.
- Next, stir in the fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan, season with freshly ground black pepper, then transfer the cooked pasta to the pan. Toss to cover the pasta in sauce, then stir in the fresh parsley.
- Season to taste and serve immediately with some extra grated Parmesan on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.