Great for busy weeknights, or any night you're craving pasta, this Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta is fast, creamy and satisfying! With a rich tomato-based cream sauce and plenty of crumbled spicy Italian sausage, this easy pasta recipe is a great pasta dish you can make in about 20 minutes!JUMP TO RECIPE
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Fast and Easy Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta
The perfect weeknight dinner with simple ingredients and incredible flavor, this Spicy Sausage Pasta delivers on both simplicity and tastiness. Whip up the creamy, spicy sausage tomato sauce while your pasta cooks, and in about 20 minutes, you've got a bowl of flavorful and filling pasta!
This creamy Italian sausage pasta is clutch for busy weeknights, and is also pantry friendly and wallet friendly, with minimal ingredients! It's easily one of my favorite weeknight dinners.
What goes into the Spicy Sausage Pasta?
To make this easy pasta, you will need:
- A half a pound of rigatoni pasta, or your favorite pasta shape. This pasta will work with any of your favorite pastas, but I love how to sauce sticks to the rigatoni pasta. For best texture, use a short, shaped pasta rather than a spagetti or angel hair.
- Butter and olive oil.
- Spicy or Hot Italian sausage, casings removed. This would be about 3 links. You can also use ground, uncased spicy Italian sausage.
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced or minced.
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste.
- Dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Stay away from anything overly sweet. If you like, you could also sub in a dry red wine.
- Heavy cream.
- Canned fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- Grated parmesan cheese.
Making the pasta
This pasta comes together very easily any night of the week. You'll cook the pasta while the sauce cooks, then combine everything at the end.
First up, you'll cook your pasta to al dente, and keep a bit of the water when it's done cooking. The pasta water will help your sauce thicken.
Making the sauce
While pasta cooks in a large pot, make the sauce. Start by cooking the sausage over medium heat in a large skillet, breaking it up as you go. Once the sausage is cooked, add the tomato paste, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook the sausage mixture, stirring occasionally for a couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, cooking until a majority of the wine is evaporated.
Lastly, add the diced tomatoes, and cream. Once the sauce simmers a bit and thickens, stir in the cooked pasta and reserved water, and parmesan cheese. Stir it up, cook a few minutes more until it's thick and glossy. See recipe card for full recipe.
What kind of pasta is best for the recipe?
I prefer rigatoni for this recipe, but you can use any shape pasta you like! Some other great options are:
- Penne pasta
Tools for making a great pasta
A deep saute pan. This makes making the sauce and saucing the pasta a breeze because of the wide and deep surface area.
A good wooden spoon, for breaking up the sausage/stirring the sauce. I love wide flat spoon, so I can "cut" the sausage up easily with it, without worrying about damaging the pan.
A large saucepan, for boiling your pasta. Only needs to be big enough for ½ lb of pasta.
A sharp knife or garlic press, for prepping the fresh garlic.
Substitutions and Additions
This Spicy Sausage Pasta is easily adaptable to what you have on hand. Here are a few swaps and additions for working with what you have in your fridge and pantry.
- Try another pasta shape, rather than rigatoni. Basically and short/stout pasta will work!
- Don't have fire roasted diced tomatoes? Regular will work, too!
- Have fresh basil you want to use up? Try that in place of the dried basil. Just add it closer to the end of the cooking time.
- Want things a bit less spicy? Try sweet Italian sausage or mild Italian sausage instead, or omit the crushed red pepper flakes.
- Not into using wine, or don't have any on hand? Swap it for chicken stock!
- If you like your pasta EXTRA spicy, you can add in more red pepper flakes!
- Add sautéed bell pepper, or roasted red peppers.
- Add some fresh spinach at the very end for some extra nutrients!
This Spicy Sausage Rigatoni tastes great topped with a generous portion of fresh grated parmesan cheese, and some fresh torn basil. I like to serve it to guests with a nice green salad, and some crusty garlic bread.
If you have any leftovers, you can store the pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you can add a splash of milk or water to loosen everything up, if desired.
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Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta
- 8 oz rigatoni pasta, or your favorite pasta shape
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1. Boil your pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water for the sauce before draining. 2. While pasta cooks, make the sauce. In a large deep sauce pan over medium heat, heat olive oil and butter, until butter is fully melted. 3. Add the sausage to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up as you go, until browned, 5-6 minutes. 4. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 1 minute. 5. Add tomato paste, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, until color deepens. 6. Deglaze pan with wine, and cook, stirring for 4-5 minutes until wine is mostly evaporated. 7. Add the diced tomatoes, and cream, and simmer for 5-6 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. 8. Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water and parmesan cheese, and toss to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes more until thick and glossy. 9. Serve with fresh chopped basil, and additional grated parmesan.
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