Baked Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe

Baked Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe – Super easy to make and tastes better than any restaurant! Small shell pasta, Italian sausage, marinara sauce, heavy cream, Italian seasoning, ricotta cheese, red pepper flakes, shredded Italian cheese, and fresh mozzarella. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread and butter. Can make in advance and refrigerate or freeze for later.

scooping pasta from a baking dish with text overlay

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Italian Sausage & Pasta Baked in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

I have a serious weakness for pasta and this Baked Pink Sauce Pasta is one of my favorites! Italian sausage, cheese, and pasta baked in an easy tomato cream sauce. O-M-YUM! I could eat this dish every single day of the week. My favorite part of this recipe is the fresh mozzarella chunks throughout the casserole. SO yummy! Whip up a salad and some garlic bread and you’ll have a meal that is better than any restaurant!

scooping pink pasta from baking dish

How to Make Pink Pasta Sauce Recipe

This pasta dish is very easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to the package instructions for al dente. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain excess grease. In a large bowl,  stir together the cooked pasta, cooked sausage, spaghetti sauce, heavy whipping cream, Italian seasoning, ricotta cheese, red pepper flakes, shredded Italian cheese, and fresh mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and black pepper. Spread the pasta into a baking dish and bake in a preheated oven until bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can use any shape of pasta that you prefer. Penne, ziti, rigatoni, elbow macaroni – whatever you have in the pantry is fine.
    • This would be delicious with ravioli.
  • Don’t like Italian sausage? You can substitute ground beef, breakfast sausage, turkey sausage, or ground turkey.
  • To make this a vegetarian dish omit the sausage.
  • My favorite store-bought jarred marinara sauces are Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce, Rao’s, and La Famiglia Del Grosso.
  • Variations/Additions:
    • gluten-free pasta
    • onions
    • diced tomatoes
    • bell peppers
    • shrimp
    • chicken
    • crushed fresh garlic cloves
    • spinach
  • Can Parma Rosa casserole be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can Baked Pasta in Pink Sauce be frozen? Yes! Assemble the casserole. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place it in the freezer. The casserole will keep up to 3 months in the freezer.
    • To bake the casserole after freezing, thaw, and bake as directed.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
plate of pink pasta with italian sausage

What to Serve with Pasta Casserole

This casserole has quickly become a favorite at our house. It is honestly as good, if not better, than any Italian restaurant we’ve eaten at. We serve this with a salad and some bread and olive oil. It is equally delicious with our favorite Italian Green Bean Salad. Add this to your menu. One bite and you will be hooked!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this cheesy pasta casserole:

Creamy Italian Dressing

Creamy Italian Dressing Recipe – our favorite salad!!! Romaine, tomatoes, thinly sliced seedless cucumbers, sliced banana peppers, croutons, parmesan cheese,…

Carbone’s Garlic Bread

Carbone’s Garlic Bread – the recipe for the garlic bread from the famous NYC and Las Vegas restaurant. This is…

Italian Green Bean Salad

Italian Green Bean Salad – quick and delicious side dish! Green beans, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, prosciutto, and mozzarella tossed…

Easy Parmesan Bread Twists

Easy Parmesan Bread Twists – made with refrigerated pizza dough! Tastes just like Domino’s Parmesan Bread Twists! YUM! Only 5…

scooping pasta from a baking dish with text overlay

Baked Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe

Yield: 10 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Baked Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe – Super easy to make and tastes better than any restaurant! Small shell pasta, Italian sausage, marinara sauce, heavy cream, Italian seasoning, ricotta cheese, red pepper flakes, shredded Italian cheese, and fresh mozzarella. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread and butter. Can make in advance and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-oz) package small shells pasta
  • 1 (16-oz) package Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (24-oz) jar spaghetti sauce sauce
  • cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 (8-oz) package fresh mozzarella pearls

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the Italian sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  • Combine cooked pasta, cooked sausage, spaghetti sauce, heavy cream, Italian seasoning, ricotta, red pepper flakes, 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, and fresh mozzarella pearls.
  • Pour pasta into the prepared pan. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded Italian cheese blend.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until pasta is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Notes:

  • You can use any shape of pasta that you prefer.
  • Don’t like Italian sausage? You can substitute ground beef, breakfast sausage, turkey sausage, or ground turkey.
  • To make this a vegetarian dish omit the sausage.
 
spaghetti sauce
  • My favorite store-bought jarred spaghetti sauces are Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara, Rao’s, and La Famiglia Del Grosso.
  • Can Baked Pasta in Pink Sauce be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can Baked Pasta in Pink Sauce be frozen? Yes! Assemble the casserole. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in the freezer. The casserole will keep up to 3 months in the freezer.
    • To bake the casserole after freezing, thaw, and bake as directed.

Steph

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plate of pink sauce pasta with sausage on a plate with text overlay

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Comments

  1. What a delicious and simple pasta dish! Our family loves pasta, and I make several pasta recipes. I sent this to my mom tonight and told her it just might be the best pasta dish I’ve ever made! Huge hit with my husband and two boys! I had ground beef on hand so I made it with that instead of sausage, but will definitely make it with sausage too.

  2. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! We all enjoyed it. I loved that I was able to put it together earlier in the day and bake it when we were ready to eat.

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