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Italian Sausage Pasta

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You will love this comforting Italian Sausage Pasta recipe! It combines crumbled sausage, pasta, a flavorful tomato sauce, cream, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. This is an easy recipe and makes great leftovers.

Italian Sausage Pasta in white bowl

ITALIAN SAUSAGE PASTA 

It is January which often means everyone is trying to eat low-carb, healthy meals but in Ohio it also means brutally cold temperatures.

When it is cold there are times I just need a big bowl of comforting pasta to warm me up. Today’s Italian Sausage Pasta is one of my all-time favorite dishes to make and it is easy! 

You will feel like you are eating a pasta dish from your favorite Italian restaurant.

This creamy Italian sausage pasta recipe is what I made for Mike and I for New Years Eve.

Since we have three small children we don’t typically go out on New Years Eve and instead we cook when the kids go to bed.

It is fun to spend time together cooking a meal, sipping wine and enjoying each others company. 

I don’t know about you but I love Italian food, especially for special occasions. Some years we will go lighter and make this Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta or this Lemon Pasta with grilled chicken or grilled salmon.

Italian Sausage Pasta in pot

If you prefer more of a Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta add in crushed red pepper and use a spicy sausage. I personally love that type of dish and you can make that recipe here with this Spicy Sausage Pasta

Lets talk about how to make this dish! It is so easy but tastes like you are eating in a restaurant. 

 

HOW DO YOU COOK ITALIAN SAUSAGE PASTA

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground sausage and cook for 5 minutes, breaking apart with a spoon to crumble the sausage. Drain.
  3. Put 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the sausage along with the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, dried oregano, thyme and crushed red pepped {optional} and give it a good stir.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the cream, stir and let simmer another 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and spinach and let it wilt. 
  6. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley. Enjoy warm!

Italian Sausage Pasta with spoon

HOW CAN I MODIFY THIS PASTA DISH

PASTA: You can use whatever shape pasta you like. I tend to like the medium sized pastas with this dish. You can also use whole grain for a healthier dish or gluten-free for those that need to skip gluten. 

VEGETABLES: If you want more vegetables in your pasta dish try adding carrots, celery, red bell pepper and broccoli. All of those vegetables work nicely in this dish.  You can add them when you sauté the garlic and just sauté for 5-6 minutes. You also also add mushrooms into the sauce when you are simmering it. 

 

CHEESE: I like to add Parmesan cheese to this dish but there are others that work nicely. Ricotta is a nice, creamy addition. Goat cheese or feta would also be great! 

SPICY: I am all about spicy! If you are too add crushed red pepper and use spicy sausage in the dish. 

GREENS: I added kale to this pasta dish but you can leave that out all-together or use a different green. Other ideas would be arugula or spinach. 

Italian Sausage Pasta with white spoon

TURN THIS RECIPE INTO AN ITALIAN SAUSAGE PASTA BAKE

A lot of people love pasta bakes, and I don’t blame them! This dish can easily become a baked dish. After you are done simmering the sauce and you add in the pasta you will transfer this pasta to a large baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and additional parmesan cheese over top of the pasta and bake it at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 

 

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH SAUSAGE PASTA

I love a big green salad with my pasta. This Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts, this Italian Style Salad or this Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing are my favorites. 

Pair your pasta dish with an easy vegetable side dish. Try these Simple Garlic Parmesan Green Beans, Roasted Broccoli or Skillet Green Beans

If you are feeling ambitious you can make your own bread! I like this Easy Perfect Yeast Bread or this Homemade Artisan Bread Recipe

Italian Sausage Pasta in white bowl

Italian Sausage Pasta

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

You will love this comforting Italian Sausage Pasta recipe! It combines crumbled sausage, pasta, a flavorful tomato sauce, cream, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. This is an easy recipe and makes great leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce of rigatoni pasta 
  • 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage {you can use spicy sausage if you prefer}
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 - 6 ounce can of tomato paste 
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes 
  • 1 cup spinach or kale, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional 
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.
    2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground sausage and cook for 5 minutes, breaking apart with a spoon to crumble the sausage. Drain.
    3. Add the 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat.
    4. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Mix the sausage back in along with the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, dried oregano, thyme and crushed red pepped {optional} and give it a good stir.
    6. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    7. Add the cream, stir and let simmer another 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, spinach and let it wilt.
    8. Add the fresh basil and parsley and the Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

For a spicier dish use crusred red pepper and spicy sausage.

For an even creamier dish try stirring in ricotta while cooking.

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