Perfect Blush Sauce


You and I have a pretty close relationship by now. You know my ins and outs, everything from my addiction to sugar to my undying love for pizza. Think about it; you and I talk every day when you get my posts in your email or in your Facebook and Twitter feeds. By now, you’ve got a pretty good idea of who The Smart Cookie Cook is.

And even if you’re new around here, one of the easiest things to pick up about me is my cooking style: doable, but fun and creative. I’ve always got an imaginative Smart Cookie twist on what I make.

But today, we’re keeping it simple with my Perfect Blush Sauce recipe. That’s because even the quirkiest cooks need those flawless staple recipes under their belts from which to build upon. Whether you like to mix things up like me, or you’re just looking for a really simple meal, staple recipes like this Perfect Blush Sauce are essential.


This sauce is proof you don’t have to get crazy to make something absolutely amazing. It’s so creamy and velvety, with the richness of the cream to cut the robust sweetness of San Marzano tomatoes. Then, all you really need to build that great flavor is good olive oil, trusty garlic, fresh basil, and one zingy shallot. A touch of parmesan brings everything together, but we’re light with it so that it doesn’t outshine the sauce’s foundational flavors.

All that’s left to do is pour the smooth stuff over some pasta and submerge yourself in its outstanding flavor and comforting richness. A good marinara sauce is great, but a good blush sauce is that much better.

On Thursday, I’ll show you something seriously amazing to do with this sauce. It’s so versatile that you’ll be happy switching out your typical marinara sauce in lasagnas and pizzas with this instead. But no matter what you choose to use my Perfect Blush sauce in, the sauce is going to be the star.


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. USE FRESH BASIL. If you’re using dried, you’re a fool. It’s a make-or-break thing.
  2. You don’t have to use San Marzano tomato puree, but I find it to be such better quality. The flavor is stellar.
  3. This would be great over tortellini, used as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese, poured over eggplant parmesan, and more.
  4. Be patient with the simmering. That’s what really brings the flavors out.

Perfect Blush Sauce
By The Smart Cookie Cook


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 24-oz. jar San Marzano tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp. fresh finely chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese


  1. Bring the oil to medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and sauté for two minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato puree, basil, and oregano and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes, making sure it doesn’t boil and stirring occasionally.
  2. Whisk in salt, pepper flakes, cream, and cheese until well-combined. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Serve over pasta and enjoy.


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Colleen Bierstine