Pink Sauce Pasta (Parma Rosa)

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Pink Sauce Pasta (Parma Rosa) is a classic dish with a creamy sauce that comes together quickly with the perfect combination of cheese and tomato flavors.

When it comes to easy Weeknight Dinners, it’s hard to beat a simple pasta dish. If you’re a fan of quick and simple meals, then you’ve probably already tried our Tomato Sauce and Creamy Alfredo Cream Sauce. With this recipe, you get the best of both worlds by combining the two into a cheesy, creamy tomato sauce over a good, old-fashioned pasta dish.

Pink Sauce Pasta in bowl with parmesan and basil garnish

PINK SAUCE PASTA (PARMA ROSA)

Parma Rosa gets its iconic pink color from combining tomato sauce with a white cream sauce. It is an amazing recipe made with quality ingredients and perfect to serve over your favorite pasta dish. As the creamy sauce, garlic, onion, and basil cook together, the house will fill with a mouth-watering aroma that gets everyone excited for their soon-to-be favorite meal.

You can either make your own homemade sauces or buy the two kinds of sauce to make the dish even quicker. Either way, the combination of flavors turns out absolutely delicious. 

Ingredients for Pink Sauce Pasta in prep bowls

If you’re a fan of creamy, cheesy, comforting dishes, this sauce is sure to become one of your favorite recipes to top off simple meals. Cheese Rosa Sauce is an absolute cheesy delight. Not only is there cream cheese and parmesan in the Alfredo sauce, but the savory sauce is topped with extra parmesan before serving.

Busy weeknights are the perfect time to serve this easy Italian food with other favorite dishes. The quick-to-prepare sauce mix and pasta is a simple main course, so you’ll have time to make an easy side dish recipe. Enjoy the pasta with a simple salad or finger foods like Garlic Bread or Pesto Cheesy Bread. You will feel like you’re at your own table in your favorite Italian restaurant. 

Collage of prep steps for Pink Sauce Pasta

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COOKING TIPS

  • Cook pasta: Add a few cups of water to a large pot with a dash of salt and put it over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, add in the uncooked penne pasta. Cook for 1-2 minutes shy of the box instructions. Then drain pasta, and transfer it to another dish. Wipe the inside of the pot dry with a dish towel.
  • Pasta Sauce: Add the butter, garlic, and onion to the pot over medium-low heat. Cook the ingredients until the onion has softened, this should take about 6-8 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce and Alfredo sauce to the pot. Stir the pasta sauce to mix well, until it comes to a simmer. Next, add the pasta into the sauce. Stir, and keep the pasta sauce mix over heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve: After the cook time, top it off with parmesan and fresh basil. Then add to serving plates, and enjoy!

Pink Sauce Pasta with penne in pan

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VARIATIONS

  • Garlic and herb sauce: To add some more savory flavor to your creamy pasta sauce, you can mix in some garlic and herb ingredients. A little bit of garlic powder or extra minced garlic cloves will make a big difference in overall taste. Then add in your favorite Italian herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme, or rosemary according to your taste.
  • Vegetables: You can also add extra vegetables to the tasty sauce like sliced tomatoes, fresh spinach, or zucchini. If you add in fresh spinach, make sure to add it just a few minutes before you’re done cooking the sauce, so that it doesn’t completely break down while cooking.
  • Gluten-free: To make a gluten-free Penne Rosa dish, all you have to do is replace the regular penne pasta with a gluten-free pasta, which you can find at most grocery stores. Traditional pasta sauce will already be gluten-free. However, if you’re using a store-bought Alfredo sauce, you may want to double-check that they haven’t used any flour as a thickening agent in the pasta sauce mix.
  • Cheese: If you just can’t get enough cheese, you can add more to the creamy pasta sauce. Try sprinkling in some shredded mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, or asiago to go with the parmesan.

Pink Sauce Pasta with penne in pan

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HOW TO STORE

  • Serve: After cooking, you don’t want to leave your Pink Sauce Pasta (Parma Rosa) at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: To store the pasta, you can cover the dish in plastic wrap or transfer the simple recipe to an airtight container to store in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: You can also seal and freeze Pink Sauce Pasta for up to 6 months. To reheat the pasta, first, let it thaw in the fridge. Then you can heat it up on the stovetop or transfer it to a baking dish to heat in the oven. Put the pasta into the baking dish, and heat it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until warmed through.

Pink Sauce Pasta in bowl with parmesan and basil garnish

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Pink Sauce Pasta (Parma Rosa)

  • Yield: 10 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Course: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Pink Sauce Pasta (Parma Rosa) is a classic dish with a creamy sauce that comes together quickly with the perfect combination of cheese and tomato flavors.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/2 yellow onion , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 3 cups Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 cup parmesan , grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil , chopped

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cook the penne in a large pot of salted boiling water 2 minutes less than the box says.

  2. Drain the pasta (and set aside), wipe dry the inside of the pot.
  3. Melt butter, garlic, and onion in the pot on medium-low heat until the onion has softened, about 6-8 minutes.

  4. Add the Marinara Sauce and Alfredo Sauce to the pot and stir well, bringing it to a simmer.
  5. Add the pasta back in and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.

  6. Serve topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10 Servings, Amount per serving: 363 calories, Calories: 363g, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 1048mg, Potassium: 366mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 418g, Vitamin C: 6g, Calcium: 141g, Iron: 1g

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