Pink Pasta (Pasta with Alfredo + Marinara!)
Pink Pasta – This pasta with tomato cream sauce uses a combination of alfredo and marinara sauces to get a pretty pink color. It makes for some serious bubbly, cheesy goodness! (Gluten Free Option!)
I had several disastrously bad high school dance dates. Like, comically, cringe-worthy bad.
One of the best things that ever happened to me on one of these terrible dance dates was trying pink pasta for the first time.
It’s nothing new, or particularly fancy, but when you’re in high school in a brightly colored, fluffy, sparkly dress, almost anything can be fancy, am I right?
In essence, pink pasta is a creamy tomato sauce pasta with both alfredo and marinara sauces on it. It’s delicious. CRAZY delicious.
WHAT GOES INTO PINK PASTA?
Pink pasta is a combination of Alfredo sauce (white) and marinara or red pasta sauce (red). The creamy tomato sauce has a pretty pink color that gives this dish its name. Here’s all you need to make it:
- PASTA. You can use a variety of pasta shapes for this pink pasta recipe. I like penne or rotini. You can absolutely use gluten free pasta if you’re GF! We like Tinkyada and Jovial brands.
- ALFREDO SAUCE. You can use whatever store-bought or homemade Alfredo sauce is your favorite. We’ve made this lighter one (I decrease the garlic to 1 clove), and have even made this with our vegan Alfredo sauce.
- MARINARA OR RED PASTA SAUCE. Then, to take the sauce from white to pink, we add red! You can use homemade or store-bought marinara or pasta sauce. We like Rao’s marinara, Newman’s Own Sockarooni (it has bell peppers and mushrooms and a *tiny* bit of kick), or a homemade sauce, like our pomodoro sauce.
- FRESH BASIL. To add some brightness and a little pop of green, I like adding some fresh basil. It really wakes up the flavor and makes this taste incredible!
- MOZZARELLA & PARMESAN CHEESE. Lastly, for that gooey-gooey cheesy factor, we top this with a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. You can skip this step if you want to keep things lighter, or you can use dairy-free cheese for a vegan or dairy free version (in addition to a vegan Alfredo sauce)
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR PERFECT PINK PASTA
WHAT KIND OF PASTA CAN YOU USE FOR PINK PASTA? Truly, any shape will taste great with the sauce, but since we’re baking this dish casserole-style, I prefer using a shorter pasta like rotini (spirals), penne (short tubes), or farfalle (bowties).
MIX-IN IDEAS TO CHANGE THINGS UP. For a little variety, you can absolutely stir in some cooked, diced chicken, Italian sausage, sautéed mushrooms, or a little spinach. It’s all yummy in this pasta with tomato cream sauce!
CAN I MAKE THIS GLUTEN FREE? Absolutely! To make gluten free pink pasta, just swap in a good-quality gluten free pasta. Our favorite gluten free pastas are Tinkyada and Jovial brand brown rice pastas. They taste and feel just like regular pasta and hold their shape better than white rice/corn varieties.
CAN YOU MAKE DAIRY FREE PINK PASTA? You can still make pink pasta! For the tomato cream sauce, you’ll need to use a dairy free/vegan Alfredo sauce, then either skip the cheese or use vegan cheese alternatives. Our favorite dairy-free mozzarella is this one from Daiya. We like this vegan parmesan.
CAN I FREEZE PINK PASTA? Pink pasta makes a great freezer meal. I recommend preparing and assembling it, but not baking it before freezing. Put it in a freezer-safe pan (like these!), cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then cover tightly with foil before freezing. You’ll remove the plastic wrap and foil, pop it in the oven to bake as directed below, just plan to add 5-10 extra minutes to the bake time.
*I like to divide the recipe into two 8×8 containers (these flexible foil ones are GREAT for the freezer) so we get two dinners out of the recipe! Or, I’ll make 1/2 the first day and freeze 1/2 for another day.
LOVE THIS PINK PASTA? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- 4-Ingredient Lasagna (SO EASY!)
- Pomodoro Sauce (Great for the red sauce in this recipe!)
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Sausage Pepper Pasta
- Perfect Paleo Meatballs
- Total Time: About 50 minutes
- Yield: about 8
Pink Pasta – This creamy tomato sauce pasta uses a blend of Alfredo and marinara sauce. It’s cheesy, delicious goodness! (Gluten Free Friendly!)
- 1 lb. short pasta, such as penne, farfalle, or rotini (gluten free, as needed)
- 2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 cups your favorite alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, minced (plus additional for garnish, if desired)
- 1–1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta in salted water 1-2 minutes less than the package directs (it will finish cooking in the sauce and in the oven). Drain pasta and discard pasta water.
- Meanwhile, make “pink” sauce by stirring together marinara and alfredo sauces in a medium saucepan over low heat until well blended. Stir in fresh basil.
- When pasta has finished cooking, toss pasta with pink sauce. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Garnish with additional fresh basil if desired.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Dish, Pasta
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American, Italian-American
Keywords: Pink Pasta, Pasta with Alfredo and Marinara, Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta
Can you not add the alfredo sauce?
If you want it to be pink pasta, you’ll need both the white and the red. 🙂