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Italian sausage pasta is coated in a creamy tomato sauce, seasoned with fresh herbs, and finished with Parmesan cheese. Pair the hearty dish with a simple green salad and a basket of garlic bread for an easy dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!

Overhead shot of hands eating Italian sausage pasta with a gold fork

Pasta with Italian Sausage

Easy pasta recipes are every busy household’s best friend, and crumbled Italian sausage adds so much flavor to this simple pasta dinner. The easy recipe is a good option to have in your back pocket for those nights that you don’t have time to plan an elaborate meal. In about 30 minutes, you can stir together a satisfying and delicious supper complete with your favorite pasta shapes, sweet or spicy sausage, and a rich, creamy, white wine tomato sauce. You’ll feel like you’re dining in an Italian café — from the comfort of your own cozy kitchen!

Cooked penne pasta in a colander

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pot of creamy sausage pasta. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Pasta: use a short pasta shape, such as penne pasta, rigatoni pasta, or “pennoni” (shown here).
  • Butter and olive oil: to sauté the garlic and onion.
  • Italian sausage: buy bulk Italian sausage or remove the casings from links yourself. Sweet, mild, or spicy sausage will all work, so pick your favorite.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Onion and garlic: add savory flavor to the sauce.
  • White wine: pick a dry white wine that’s a good quality for drinking, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. For an alcohol-free substitute, use vegetable broth or chicken broth instead.
  • Tomato sauce: forms the base of the creamy sauce.
  • Heavy cream: gives the sauce a rich, creamy texture and a silky mouthfeel.
  • Fresh parsley and fresh basil: flavorful herbs that add a classic Italian touch and brighten up the rich sauce.
Adding cream to tomato sauce in a skillet

How to Make Sausage Pasta

Have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go at the start, because this meal comes together really quickly!

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain.
  2. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Remove the sausage to a plate.
  3. Add the butter and olive oil to the same skillet, and then sauté the onion and garlic.
  4. Stir in the wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook the wine until it’s reduced by about half.
  5. Add the tomato sauce and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the cream, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cooked sausage, the cooked pasta, and the fresh herbs. Cook, stirring, until all the sauce comes to a simmer, and all of the ingredients are combined.
  8. Serve immediately and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs.
Close up shot of a fork in a bowl of creamy Italian sausage pasta

What to Serve with this Creamy Sausage Pasta Recipe

This Italian sausage pasta goes well with any of these easy sides:

Front shot of a bowl of sausage pasta on a dinner table with a salad and bread

Storage

Leftover cooked pasta with the sauce will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing creamy sausage pasta, since the pasta will get mushy when thawed and the cream sauce may break.

To reheat the pasta, place in a saucepan or skillet, cover, and warm over low heat just until the dish reaches the desired temperature. Be careful not to boil the sauce or reheat it for too long, or the pasta will get mushy. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.

Square overhead shot of a bowl of sausage pasta on a dinner table with a side of bread and salad

Recipe Variations for Italian Sausage Pasta

  • Make it a vegetarian pasta dish by omitting the sausage.
  • Use ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, or regular pork sausages instead of the Italian sausage. Italian turkey sausage will also work well.
  • Bacon or pancetta are both nice additions to the sauce in lieu of the sausage. Brown the meats in the skillet, then remove the bacon or pancetta to a plate (reserve the drippings in the pan).
  • The white wine adds great flavor to the sauce; however, if you prefer to cook without alcohol, you can substitute vegetable broth or chicken broth for the wine.
  • Make it spicy by adding crushed red pepper flakes to taste. You can use spicy Italian sausage, too.
  • Add baby spinach at the end of the cooking time, stirring just until the spinach wilts into the pasta mixture. You can also add frozen peas at the end, which will heat through almost instantly (no pre-cooking or thawing necessary).
  • Any small short pasta will work. I’ve shown pennoni, but penne, rigatoni, farfalle (bowties), ziti, medium shells, and gemelli are all great options.
Square side shot of creamy Italian sausage pasta on a wooden table with a side of bread, salad, and a glass of wine

Tips for the Best Sausage Pasta Recipe

  • Cut the onion into a very fine dice, and grate the garlic (I use a microplane for this). This way the onion and garlic add flavor to the sauce, but they don’t stand out or make the sauce chunky.
  • Cook the pasta just until al dente (tender, but with a firm bite). The total time necessary will depend on your specific brand and pasta shape, so check the instructions on your package. Make sure to salt the cooking water really well!
  • Use a high-quality dry white wine that you would actually like to drink. Good options include Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
  • Give the heavy cream time to come to room temperature. This will help it blend smoothly into the sauce and will ensure that it doesn’t separate or curdle in the hot pan.
  • Double all of the ingredients to feed a larger family. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same, although you might have to add an extra couple minutes to allow the wine to reduce.
Overhead shot of a fork in a bowl of creamy sausage pasta with Parmesan and fresh herbs

More Amazing Sausage Pasta Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of italian sausage pasta

Sausage Pasta

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 614 kcal
Italian sausage pasta is coated in a creamy tomato sauce, seasoned with fresh herbs, finished with Parmesan cheese, and ready in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces dry penne or rigatoni pasta (or other short cut pasta shape)
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • cup white wine (or use vegetable broth or chicken broth as a substitute)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Optional, for serving: grated Parmesan cheese; additional fresh herbs

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up the larger chunks with a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink. Remove the sausage to a plate and set aside. Do not wipe out the skillet.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet. When the butter melts, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat until the onion starts to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook the wine until it reduces by about half, about 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and stir for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the cream, and then season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cooked sausage, the cooked pasta, and the chopped parsley and basil to the sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce comes to a simmer and everything is well combined.
  • Remove from the heat; serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and additional fresh herbs, if desired.

Notes

  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the sausage.
  • Use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken instead of the Italian sausage. Italian turkey sausage will also work well.
  • Bacon or pancetta are both nice additions to the sauce in lieu of the sausage. Brown the meats in the skillet, then remove the bacon or pancetta to a plate (reserve the drippings in the pan).
  • The white wine adds great flavor to the sauce; however, if you prefer to cook without alcohol, you can substitute vegetable broth or chicken broth for the wine.
  • Make it spicy by adding crushed red pepper flakes to taste. You can use spicy Italian sausage, too.
  • Add baby spinach at the end of the cooking time, stirring just until the spinach wilts into the pasta mixture. You can also add frozen peas at the end, which will heat through almost instantly (no pre-cooking or thawing necessary).
  • Any small short pasta will work. I’ve shown pennoni, but penne, rigatoni, farfalle (bowties), ziti, medium shells, and gemelli are all great options.
  • Cut the onion into a very fine dice, and grate the garlic (I use a microplane for this). This way the onion and garlic add flavor to the sauce, but they don’t stand out or make the sauce chunky.
  • Cook the pasta just until al dente (tender, but with a firm bite). The total time necessary will depend on your specific brand and pasta shape, so check the instructions on your package.
  • Use a high-quality dry white wine that you would actually like to drink. Good options include Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
  • Give the heavy cream time to come to room temperature. This will help it blend smoothly into the sauce and will ensure that it doesn’t separate or curdle in the hot pan.
  • Double all of the ingredients to feed a larger family. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same, although you might have to add an extra couple minutes to allow the wine to reduce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 614kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 18gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 954mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 986IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: Italian Sausage Pasta, pasta with italian sausage, pasta with sausage, sausage pasta
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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