This rich and creamy Rose Sauce is the ultimate pink sauce for pasta! It’s ready in 20 minutes and easy to make from scratch using only a handful of pantry staples. Perfect for both weeknight dinners and elegant entertaining!
In the mood for an impressive homemade pasta sauce? When you have the time, I highly recommend packing your patience for a deeply flavorful and layered Italian Sunday Gravy or Bolognese. But when time is of the essence, stick to this easy Rose Sauce instead!
Think of creamy rose pasta sauce as marinara sauce that’s been elevated with heavy cream. It’s made with a few everyday ingredients and only takes 20 minutes to put together. Plus, you can serve it with any kind of pasta you like.
Despite the ease of this recipe, the result is anything but ordinary. You’re left with a creamy and luxurious pink sauce you can dig into right away or store and freeze for later!
Rose sauce vs. vodka sauce
Rose sauce and vodka sauce are very similar pasta sauces that pair well with all types of pasta. They’re both pretty in pink and extra creamy with a distinctly aromatic, tangy, and peppery flavor. The main difference is that vodka sauce is made with a splash of vodka and rose sauce is not.
That said, you can easily upgrade this simple rose sauce to vodka sauce status with ½ cup to ¾ cup of vodka.
- Extra virgin olive oil – EVOO keeps the shallot and garlic from sticking as they sauté in the skillet. Be sure to have extra oil on hand for drizzling over the dish once it’s finished.
- Crushed tomatoes – A good quality can of plain crushed tomatoes gives your pink sauce the best taste, color, and level of acidity.
- Garlic – To intensify the aromatic and savory flavors.
- Heavy cream – Whole milk and half and half will work as substitutes but the sauce won’t be as rich or luxurious.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated parmesan melts into the sauce, acting as a natural thickener while making the flavors cheesy, creamy, and salty. Make sure to grate the cheese yourself right from the block – the quality is better and the cheese will melt beautifully.
- Red pepper flakes – These spicy chili flakes give the sauce just the right amount of warmth and heat.
- Salt and pepper
- Pasta – Use any kind of pasta you already have on hand. Penne, rigatoni, fusilli, fettuccine, and wide ribbon-like noodles, like pappardelle or tagliatelle all work well.
How to make rose sauce
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, then add the garlic.
Add in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer to help break them down.
While the sauce simmers, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water, then drain the rest.
Next, stir the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes into the sauce.
Add the pasta and stir to coat each noodle. You can add a splash of the pasta water at a time to help loosen the consistency and help the sauce cling to the pasta.
Lastly, stir in some freshly grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy!
- Make it meaty – Add pre-cooked Italian sausage, shredded or chopped chicken breast, or shrimp to the sauce before tossing everything with the pasta.
- Add veggies – This rose sauce is easy to upgrade with sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and spinach.
- Dairy free rose sauce – Make this recipe with vegan butter, coconut cream (or cashew cream), and vegan parmesan cheese instead.
- Make rose vodka sauce – A splash of vodka will add a bright, peppery pop to this sauce, just like in Penne Alla Vodka. Once the shallot and garlic are soft and fragrant, deglaze the skillet with ½ to ¾ cup vodka. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid reduces by about half before adding the tomatoes.
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Sauteed Zucchini and Squash
- Sous Vide Asparagus
- Kale Caesar Salad
- MORE → 40 EASY Sides To Serve With Pasta
Storing leftover pasta with pink sauce: Keep the leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. To reheat, warm the pasta and sauce in a pan over medium-low heat. A splash of water or cream will help loosen the sauce if needed.
Storing just the sauce: Rose sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready, thaw the sauce in the fridge overnight, then reheat it in a saucepan the next day.
- A fruity Rosé paired with Italian rose sauce is a no-brainer.
- A bright, citrusy, and acidic white wine, like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or Moscato, is also a great choice.
Learn more about properly pairing wine with pasta → The 7 Best Wines to Pair with Pasta.
More pasta sauce recipes
- Instant Pot Sunday Gravy
- Fra Diavolo Sauce
- Creamy Miso Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce
Did you make rose sauce?
If you loved this delectable pink sauce, I would appreciate it if you gave it a starred review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Rose Sauce Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus for more serving)
- 16 ounces pasta
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer, until fragrant. Pour
- Add in crushed tomatoes, bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, while the pasta cooks.
- While sauce simmers, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. 1 – 2 minutes less than called for on the package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- To your sauce, add the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add pasta water, if needed, to thin the sauce a bit.
- Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.