I love pasta, especially effortless recipes like my penne rose. Also called pink sauce pasta, this vegan penne rose recipe not only tastes fabulous, but it's also one of those quick and easy dinner recipes for busy weeknights. As a kid, my mom cooked pasta once a week, and I remember thinking penne rose tasted like adult spaghettios. Of course, back then, we ate whatever my mom cooked, spaghettios and all. YUCK!
Obviously, spaghettios taste horrid, but my mom's penne rose tasted creamy and divine. Traditionally, pink pasta, also known as penne rose, contains oil, butter, heavy cream, and cheese. Yet, veganized, it tastes just like mom's recipe without any of those ingredients.
My mother, now vegan, would definitely approve. And my husband, also a former meat-eater, dragged his bread around the bottom of the bowl to get every last drop of sauce.
When I consider what I used to eat compared to my current diet, I'm grateful I chose a plant-based lifestyle. But, that doesn't mean sacrificing creamy delicious pasta without compromising taste.
And, believe it or not, this penne rose recipe is so ridiculously easy, it's worth trying!
Simple Ingredients for a fabulous tasting Vegan Penne Rose Recipe
Sometimes, the best recipes come from the simplest of ingredients.
- Red onion
- Tomato Passata (or substitute tomato sauce or tomato puree)
- Fresh Basil
- Poultry Seasoning (I used Trader Joe's Chickless Seasoning)
- Red Pepper Chili Flakes (optional) but I highly recommend
- Oat milk (unsweetened and unflavored) or any plant milk of choice
- Nutritional Yeast
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
What is Tomato Passata and how is it different than Tomato Sauce?
Passata is an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of seeds and skins. It originated in Italy but is used throughout Europe. Some passatas are chunkier and some are smoother, depending on the brand. Some people claim that passata can also be cooked, but most agree that it is uncooked. You will also see it spelled passato and passata di pomodoro, and it can also simply be called “strained tomatoes.”
Tomato sauce and tomato paste are cooked products, which instantly makes them different from passata. In addition, tomato sauce often has other ingredients such as carrots, onions, and garlic, while tomato paste is cooked down to be extra concentrated and thick. If you cannot find it in your store, the best substitution is tomato purée or take plain tomato sauce, so don't sweat it!
How to make Penne Rose Sauce better know as Pink Pasta Sauce
First, pink pasta sauce refers to a creamy version of a typical tomato sauce. Yet, the combination of the ingredients and how they are prepared is the difference between a tasty pink sauce and a bland one.
To make this creamy sauce, begin with red onions and garlic sauteed in an oil-free skillet. Next add the fresh basil, poultry seasoning, and red pepper flakes. As soon as the onions begin to brown and stick to the pan, add the tomato passata or tomato sauce, stirring the bits of browned onion and garlic into the sauce.
Now, add the blended oat milk and nutritional yeast, slowly, stirring as the milk mixture is added to the simmering skillet.
Once the sauce thickens, add the cooked penne and 1 cup of pasta water to the skillet and stir. As a result, a thick and creamy penne rose is ready for a quick and easy dinner.
I served my pink sauce pasta topped with Vegan Parmesan Cheese, extra basil, crusty bread, and a salad, and don't plan on leftovers. My crew ate all of it!
Looking for quick and easy weeknight meals? Check out these easy recipes!
- Cajun Jambalaya Pasta Recipe
- Mexican Pasta Salad
- Enchilada Pasta
- Vegan Enchilada Casserole
- Buffalo Chickpea Wrap
- Apple Salad with Walnuts
- Easy One-Pot Meals
- Buffalo Chickpea Wrap
- Cauliflower Tacos
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂