This homemade tomato cream sauce recipe is packed with classic Italian flavor. Swap out the traditional pasta in favor of roast sausages and zucchini for a low carb/keto and gluten-free dinner. This creamy pink sauce will be a new family favorite, for sure!
What you’ll love about this recipe:
- 15-minute recipe. Starting with canned crushed tomatoes means this sauce comes together quickly!
- No added sugar or preservatives. You’ll always know exactly what goes into each batch.
- Freezer friendly. Perfect for meal prep!
Do you ever make a huge meal, eat it for dinner one day and heat up leftovers for lunch all week and then immediately make it again because you’re so sad that the leftovers are gone?
That’s what happened when I made this zucchini and sausage in tomato cream sauce.
It’s just so good! And that’s coming from someone who usually gets burned out on leftovers after a day or two.
I served this creamy tomato sauce over broiled sausage and zucchini for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner.
Instead of spiralizing the zucchini like I usually would, I cut it into big chunks. It held up to the hearty tomato cream sauce better that way.
The bigger pieces of zucchini also mean that you can broil them right on the same pan as your sausages. Everything gets toasty and charred and has an extra layer of flavor.
This dinner is so warm and cozy. I’m definitely looking forward to eating it all fall and winter long!
What is pink sauce?
Pink sauce, also known as tomato cream sauce or rosario sauce, is basically a combination of marinara sauce and alfredo sauce. It’s similar to vodka sauce, except even richer and creamier.
It’s pretty much the best sauce ever.
You can eat it on pasta or tortellini, use it on a pizza, or ditch the carbs like I did here and serve it over broiled vegetables. It’s delicious paired with sausage, chicken, or even shrimp.
If you love creamy tomato sauce, you’ll also love penne al baffo or tomato and mascarpone sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Butter. I use unsalted butter when I cook so I have more control over the seasoning.
Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream. In a pinch you can also use half and half.
Fresh Garlic. Lots of it!
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese.
Crushed Tomatoes. For even more flavor, use fire-roasted tomatoes! If you’re really dedicated, you can crush your own fresh tomatoes. I use canned tomatoes here. They’re just as tasty and the flavor is more consistent, especially when tomatoes aren’t in season.
Fresh Basil. There’s nothing else quite like it; dried basil just won’t do in this recipe.
Red Pepper Flakes. If you like a little bit of spice.
How do you make it?
The first time I had tomato cream sauce was way back in college when one of my roommates mixed together a jar of marinara sauce and a jar of alfredo sauce. We were instantly hooked at ate it pretty regularly.
Of course, that’s not how I make it anymore.
These days I make this pink sauce recipe entirely from scratch – and it barely takes any more time than opening those two jars did. Of course, this homemade version tastes a million times better!
Saute the garlic in butter. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, but don’t let it brown or it will get bitter. Low heat is key here.
Whisk in some heavy cream and bring it to a simmer. Stir in some parmesan cheese to form a thick, creamy Alfredo sauce.
Add the ingredients for classic marinara: crushed tomatoes and fresh basil.
Add a little water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick, season to taste with a little sea salt and some crushed red pepper, and there you have it! My absolute favorite thing to eat right now.
Just look how luscious that tomato cream sauce is! It’s definitely rich, but a little goes a long way.
You can make a big batch and freeze it if you want, but it’s so quick to make that I usually just make it as I need it.
Commonly Asked Questions
How do I store leftovers?
Let it cool completely, then store it in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months. Reheat the sauce in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat.
Is this sauce vegetarian?
This sauce can be vegetarian if it’s made with vegetarian parmesan. BelGioioso makes a good one! (Note that is it not the one pictured above, with is their traditional Parmesan made with animal rennet. The vegetarian version is labelled as such.)
What should I serve it with?
This sauce is delicious with pasta, meatballs, on chicken parmesan, on zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash or over broiled zucchini and sausage, like I served it here.
Here are some more low carb Italian comfort food recipes you’ll love!
- Lightened-Up Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Mussels with Saffron Tomato Sauce
- Roasted Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese
- Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs
Tomato Cream Sauce with Broiled Zucchini and Sausage
For the Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 garlic cloves crushed
- ¾ cup grated parmesan
- 14 ounces crushed tomatoes about 1.5 cups
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the Broiled Zucchini and Sausage
- 3 medium zucchini
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 Italian sausages
For the Sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned.
- Whisk in the cream. Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until reduced by about half.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese until smooth. Add the tomatoes and basil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- If desired, whisk in 1/4 cup of water to thin the sauce. Season to taste with salt and red pepper.
For the Zucchini and Sausage
- Heat your broiler to high.
- Cut each zucchini crosswise into 4 pieces. Cut eat of those pieces lengthwise into four wedges. Drizzle with oil.
- Arrange the zucchini wedges and sausages on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, until the sausages are cooked through and the zucchini is lightly charred.
- Slice the sausages into rounds. Stir the sausage and zucchini into the sauce.