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+ servings

Sausage Pasta

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!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Italian Sausage Pasta, pasta with italian sausage, pasta with sausage, sausage pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 614kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


Serving: 1/4 of the recipe | Calories: 614kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 954mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 986IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg