We all need a go-to pasta sauce in our arsenal, and this one is it for me. This perfect creamy tomato sauce (aka pink sauce) is just that - perfect. It's an incredibly easy sauce to make with plenty of shallots and garlic, a little spice from red pepper flakes, tomato paste for that easy concentrated flavor, and of course heavy cream. A weekly staple sauce that comes together in no more than 15 minutes.
A FEW INGREDIENT NOTES:
- Pasta: Use your pasta of choice here and cook according to directions (always al-dente!). Mezze rigatoni is my go-to.
- Shallot: Shallots are one of my favorite sauce ingredients because it gives that onion-y flavor with less sharpness.
- Garlic: Always load up on garlic. Three cloves is the sweet spot, but you could definitely add more if you want.
- Tomato paste: Paste is perfect for this sauce because it has that concentrated tomato flavor. And we cook it a bit before adding the heavy cream which caramelizes it a bit and brings that flavor out even more.
- Red pepper flakes: Adding a sprinkle of red pepper flakes gives this sauce the slightest kick - you could definitely leave this out though.
- Heavy cream: Of course how the sauce gets its creaminess.
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Sauté pot
- Stock/pasta pot
- Can opener
- Wood spoon
- Measuring cups & spoons
HOW TO MAKE THIS PERFECT CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE:
If you take one thing away from reading this recipe, I want it to be how insanely easy it is to make.
- Step 1: Boil your water. In your stock/pasta pot, bring heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.
- Step 2: Sauté the garlic and shallots. To your sauté pot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Sauté for 3 minutes until the shallots are starting to get translucent and all is very fragrant.
- Step 3: Add the red pepper flakes and tomato paste. To the garlic and shallots, add the red pepper flakes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Mix those together and cook for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the tomato paste (flavor!!).
- Step 4: Add the heavy cream. Reduce heat to medium-low and mix in the heavy cream. Stir to combine until smooth. Let it come up to a slight simmer, then add the pasta (it's ok if pasta water gets in there!).
- Step 5: Serve. You can serve as is, or, as I like to do – dollop some ricotta cheese or sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU USE CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE FOR?
There are SO many things you can do with this sauce if you're looking to take it beyond just pasta. A few thoughts:
- Add some ground chicken/turkey/beef and serve with pasta (or make meatballs)
- Make baked ziti and sub this sauce for marinara
- Make lasagna and sub this sauce for marinara
- Chicken parmesan with creamy tomato sauce
- Add to cooked spaghetti squash, top with mozzarella cheese, broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly
- Serve it with some zoodles as a pasta alternative
OTHER EASY PASTA RECIPES:
- Creamy Roasted Garlic Gnocchi with Bacon
- Creamy Tortellini and Pesto Tomato Soup
- One Pot Gnocchi Bake
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Sage Breadcrumbs