Brown Rice Pasta Shells in Light Rose Sauce

by Sharon on December 30, 2013

Brown Rice Pasta Shells in Rose Sauce

Rose as in rose-ay. I’m taking popular restaurant fare, with this rose sauce, and lightening things up a bit. Instead of the full fat whipping cream used by chefs in professional kitchens, I’ve substituted healthy Greek yogurt instead. It is still creamy, still has tang, still so delicious.

To make this meal even more nutritious and gluten free, I used brown rice pasta shells. I’ve used brown rice penne noodles in the past to moderate success so, I thought I’d give the shells a go. Another bonus to the brown rice pasta is the extra points awarded to me from my grocery store’s new loyalty card. You rack up points towards $$ off your groceries! They even gear bonus points to groceries you buy regularly. For instance we always buy onions, tomatoes, berries and cheese. Most weeks the bonus points have been on one, if not all, of these items. It’s super cool for those who spend most of their grocery dollars in one store. I’ve really seen the points adding up already!

Brown Rice Pasta Shells in Rose Sauce

I followed the directions on the package on the cooking method of the brown rice pasta. The best tip with cooking the brown rice pasta is to rinse it off well and don’t overook it. I used half of the package which gave us four servings. Well, we did two large servings and then there were two smaller servings. I’m averaging the four count. It’s harder with only two of us. Joe and I both have big appetites. I’m assuming kids have smaller appetites? So there you go! Four.

This is pretty easy/quick to whip up and is a nice meatless option. It’s good on the old system to ditch meat regularly. You can do it all together quite easily and I often wonder if I should make a concentrated effort to fully stop eating meat. I’m a hopeless animal lover, who can’t watch documentaries with animals because of the inevitable footage of cruelty. I will cover my face, watch through my fingers or skip over it entirely. Its way too upsetting for me. Hmmm … Inner struggles …

Aaaanyway, this is a meat free option, using organic yogurt from a local farm.

Brown Rice Pasta Shells in Rose Sauce

Start the sauce by sauteeing up some onion and garlic. Add in some marinara sauce and heat it to a bit of a bubble. To make life simple, I used jarred sauce. Scoop your yogurt into a small bowl and add a few tablespoons of the heated sauce and mix them together. This is a chef-y move called ‘tempering’ which ensures the yogurt won’t curdle when you add it to the warmed sauce.

Stir the in cooked pasta shells and sliced fresh basil.

It was pretty heavenly. I really liked the shells. The Mister of the house put a good dent in the serving bowl also and you know what that means. He was hungry. Ha! Kidding. Because it was gooood, that’s what that means.


Brown Rice Pasta Shells in Rose Sauce

Serves 4 servings

Brown Rice Pasta Shells in Light Rose Sauce
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  • ½ package brown rice pasta shells ( I used a bag )
  • ½ small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1tsp butter
  • 2 cups marinara sauce ( I used PC Organics jarred tomato & basil sauce)
  • ½ tbsp. chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 5 large basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • sea salt & pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. In a medium sized saucepot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat
  3. Add in minced onion, stir well and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and let cook for another minute
  4. Pour in marinara sauce and sprinkle in chili flakes, sea salt and pepper. Let it heat to a bubble, then turn to low
  5. In a separate bowl, stir yogurt with a scoop or two of the heated sauce to temper it
  6. Add in the yogurt mixture to the sauce then stir in the pasta shells and basil
  7. Top with parmesan cheese if desired

Click for Nutritional Stats

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

lucie December 31, 2013 at 7:53 am
This recipe looks so mouth-wateringly delicious! Im such a pasta lover and have been since childhood and this recipe will be on my agenda this new year, thank you!
Sharon December 31, 2013 at 9:53 am
Hey Lucie! If you are a pasta lover this recipe is right up your alley :) All the best for 2014!
Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens January 9, 2014 at 10:11 am
I love "rose" or what I often call "pink" sauce - that mouthwateringly satisfying creation of creamy tomato sauce! The trick is definitely in keeping the flavor and decadent creaminess while also keeping it healthy. Greek yogurt is such a great way to do that! Yuuuummmmmmm!!!! :D
Sharon January 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm
When I was younger I would have cream sauces all. the. time. I had no idea they were made with whipping cream! We loved the Greek yogurt. :)
Paula January 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm
How many ounces is a half bag of pasta? I would like to make this for dinner tomorrow night, but will use regular pasta instead. Thanks!!
Sharon January 18, 2014 at 11:31 pm
Hey Paula! I usually portion a cup of dry pasta per person (depends on appetites!). I would guess 8-10 ounces per person. I hope you enjoy it :)
Jana June 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm
Any ideas for replacing the dairy? Looks so good!
Sharon June 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm
Hey Jana! You could try this: maybe? Or a store bought version of vegan yogurt or sour cream. Let me know if you give it a try. It is a really good dish. :)

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