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Pink Pasta Recipe on a plate with French bread and a glass of wine

Pink Pasta Recipe

I’ve been making this pink pasta recipe for years now, and it’s one of my favorite dinner pasta recipes to make! The creamy Parmesan sauce and pretty orange-pink color make this a show-stopper I love to share with everyone.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American/Italian
Keyword creamy tomato pasta, dinner pasta recipe, ham pasta, ham pasta recipe, Orecchiette pasta, Orecchiette pasta recipe, orecchiette recipes, pink pasta, pink pasta recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 432kcal


  • Skillet
  • Colander


  • 12 oz. Orecchiette pasta box
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 2 cups diced ham leftovers or store-bought
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish


  • Begin by cooking a 12 oz. box of Orecchiette pasta until it is slightly al dente – just a bit underdone. It will cook more when added to the sauce. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • Spread 2 Tbsp. olive oil evenly in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add 2 tsp. minced garlic (or garlic paste) to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of diced ham to the pan and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. The ham will literally start to “pop” and jump up out of the pan when it’s cooked enough!
  • Add 1 cup tomato sauce to the skillet. Stir to evenly distribute.
  • Pour in 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir to combine.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer, occasionally stirring, for 3-4 minutes until it thickens.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low. Slowly and carefully add 1 cup half & half to the pan. Do this gradually and while stirring so it does not curdle.
  • Stir to mix evenly for about 1 minute, then allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. When it begins to bubble, slowly add in 1 cup Parmesan cheese while stirring. Break up any chunks of Parmesan and evenly mix it all in.
  • Sprinkle in salt & pepper to taste and stir to incorporate.
  • Add in your cooked Orecchiette pasta slowly and mix together completely. Your pasta may have stuck together a little bit in the colander, so carefully break it up with a spatula as you’re mixing it in.
  • Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish, serve, and enjoy!



  • Slowly add the half & half and Parmesan so nothing curdles and it all mixes together well. Remember to lower the heat during this step.
  • You can use store-bought diced ham such as Smithfield cubed ham or leftover ham for this recipe. Find a link to our recipe for delicious Honey Glazed Ham in the post!


Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1025mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 260mg | Iron: 2mg