Creamy Pink Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi

Gnocchi with pink sauce

Tatjana Ristanic / Stocksy United

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings

This is a quick, easy-to-make, and delicate tomato-cream sauce with a pleasing, blush-pink hue. It allegedly has French origins, and it works great with potato gnocchi or short pasta shapes. It would also pair well with many types of pasta bakes or filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini. 

This is a great recipe to have up your sleeve when you're in a rush, or if unexpected company stops in. It looks so elegant that nobody will suspect just how simple it was to make. 

It's also popular with kids since it's tasty and uncomplicated. 


  • 1 pound/400 grams potato gnocchi or a short pasta shape (such as penne or farfalle)

  • 125 ml tomato sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 125 ml heavy cream

  • 1 dash sea salt

  • 1 dash ground black pepper

  • 15 grams parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated

  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a large, covered pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat, salt it, and add the penne, gnocchi, or other short pasta of choice.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce and garlic in a large saucepan.

  4. When the tomato sauce reaches a simmer, lower the heat to low, stir in the cream, and heat through, being careful not to let the sauce burn.

  5. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

  6. When the pasta or gnocchi are ready, drain it and transfer it to the saucepan.

  7. Stir to coat it in the sauce and add the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  8. Toss to coat pasta evenly.

  9. Garnish with parsley, more freshly grated cheese if desired, and serve immediately.


Recipe Variations

  • For a milder sauce, use onions in place of garlic.
  • For a more piquant, somewhat spicy sauce, you can add a pinch of crushed dried red chili peppers (peperoncini) to the tomato sauce when simmering it with the garlic. 
  • Top with a few fresh basil leaves instead of parsley when serving.
  • For a lighter version, use cream cheese instead of the heavy cream.