Creamy Pink Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi

Creamy Pink Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
667 Calories
46g Fat
52g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 667
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 29g 144%
Cholesterol 173mg 58%
Sodium 345mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 12mg 61%
Calcium 154mg 12%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 510mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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's perfect for 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 pink sauce is made with tomato sauce, heavy cream, garlic, cheese, and parsley, and takes a mere 20 minutes from start to finish. This is a great recipe for when you're in a rush or unexpected company shows up. It looks so elegant that nobody will suspect how simple it was to make. 

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

Serve with a tossed salad or crusty homemade bread, or jazz it up even further and add some baked chicken or grilled sausage on the side.


  • 1 pound (454 grams) potato gnocchi, or a short pasta shape such as penne or farfalle

  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) tomato sauce, homemade or store bought

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) heavy cream

  • Dash sea salt, or to taste

  • Dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1/4 cup (22.5 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving, if desired

  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Creamy Pink Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Cook the gnocchi in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Heat the tomato sauce and garlic in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  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.

    Add cream to the sauce in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Season the sauce with salt and pepper

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Add the gnocchi to the pasta in the pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Add the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to the sauce and gnocchi

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Toss to coat pasta evenly.

    gnocchi covered with sauce and cheese

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Creamy pink tomato sauce over gnocchi with parsley and freshly grated cheese

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack



Your pasta should be cooked just to al dente so it is firm and not soggy.

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 chile 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 heavy cream.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese instead of using Parmesan cheese, if you desire additional cheese for topping.