This Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta is comfort food heaven. One of my favorite Italian sausage recipes – and it can be on your table in no time!
This is one of those ground sausage recipes that imparts so much flavor into a sauce. The flavor of the Italian sausage is so key in this hearty dish so buy the best sausage you can get!
Italian Sausage Pasta In Cream Sauce Questions:
What is sweet Italian sausage?
It’s an Italian sausage that is not spicy and often contains fennel seeds. Fennel seeds have a unique flavor that go really well in the sausage. Some places will sell sweet Italian sausage marked “no fennel”. Either one will work real well in this dish. Honestly spicy Italian sausage is fine as well if you like a little heat. Chowhound talks about the difference in this article.
Where to buy sweet Italian sausage?
Costco sells the Premio brand of sausage at an excellent price. It’s a pretty good Italian sausage, but if you have access to an Italian pork store or a supermarket that sells Italian specialty goods you might find better quality sausage. Because the sausage is the key flavoring agent in this dish, go for the best you can find.
Ground turkey or beef can be used. If you go this route I would suggest adding more salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, and maybe some dried oregano.
Well we all know how popular this kitchen gadget has become. If using it I would suggest cooking all the sauce ingredients for roughly 10 minutes, depressurizing and adding the cream at the end. The only issue might be getting the sausage to break apart well. I’m pretty sure it will be just as good in the Instant Pot.
Any thick pasta will work well. I used pappardelle which is a pasta similar to fettuccine but wider. Penne, tagliatelle, rigatoni or spaghetti would all work well.
Italian Sausage Pasta Difficulty level?
I would give this a 2 out of 5 where 1 is super easy and 5 is very difficult.
I think it’s very hard to get bad results with this Italian sausage recipe.
The only issue I could see arising would be with the cream. Make sure to use heavy cream so that the sausage cream sauce does not break. Heavy cream will not break and the sauce will be perfect every time.
I’ve learned my lessons over the years with this so if you use light cream or half and half be careful.
Italian Sausage Pasta In Cream Sauce Process:
Shown are most of the ingredients.
First step is to roughly chop the onions and garlic. If you like the garlic or onion more finely chopped go for it.
Remove the sausage casing by making a slit.
Saute the onions and garlic in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil for 5 minutes on medium-low. The objective is to sweat them but not burn the onions.
Next step is to saute all of the ground Italian sausage. Turn the heat to medium and break up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon.
After about 20 minutes of sauteing the sausage will be nice and brown. If you have any large clumps of sausage now is the time to break them up.
Crush one 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes with your hands in a large bowl. Be careful to not splatter – I do this in my sink. Alternatively, a two second pulse in a blender is fine.
Add the crushed tomatoes to the sauteed sweet Italian sausage. Also add the full 6 ounces of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and a 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano. Stir it all together – cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 30 minutes on medium to medium low.
While the sauce is cooking boil the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta reserve 3 cups of pasta water. This is very important!
After 30 mins of cooking remove the lid and add 1 cup of pasta water and stir all the sauce together. Let it cook for 5 minutes to blend well.
Finally turn the heat to low and add 1 cup of cream and stir it all together. Let it cook for 2 minutes to fully incorporate.
Add the pasta to a large bowl and spoon the sauce all over. Don’t use all the sauce unless you need to. There might be leftovers depending on the pasta used. Mix the sauce and pasta together well.
If the sauce is a little too thick and the pasta is a little dry add a 1/2 cup of pasta water or more. This will help in getting the exact right consistency in the sauce/pasta ratio. This is also how it’s done every time in an Italian restaurant. The technique works equally well in a Carbonara or a garlic and oil recipe.
Check out these other Italian dishes:
- Italian Chicken With Capers And Cherry Tomatoes
- Pizza Bianca
- Roasted Broccolini And Sausage
- Italian Roasted Peppers
- Broccoli Rabe Sausage Rolls
- Clams In Red Sauce
- Baked Portobello Mushrooms With Bruschetta
- Italian Potatoes With Sausage And Cherry Peppers
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?
Give it a star rating.
- 1 pound pappardelle pasta
- 1.5-2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
- 8 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 28 oz whole plum tomatoes
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups pasta water
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano or Pecorino
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- Chop onion and garlic roughly. Pulse plum tomatoes in blender or break about gently in large bowl with hands. Remove all the sausage from casings.
- Saute garlic and onions on medium-low heat for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add ground sausage to pan and turn heat to medium. Saute sausage for roughly 20 minutes. Break sausage apart with wooden spoon during the saute process.
- Add the salt, crushed pepper, oregano, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste to the sausage and stir it all together. Cover and cook on medium to medium low for 30 minutes.
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Before draining pasta reserve 3 cups of pasta water.
- Remove lid from sauce at 30 minutes and add 1 cup of pasta water. Stir together and cook for 5 more minutes uncovered.
- Turn heat to low and add cream. Stir together well and cook for 2 more minutes. Taste sauce and adjust salt or pepper if necessary.
- Place cooked pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sausage sauce all over the pasta. Do not go overboard with the sauce as you might have extra.
- Mix the sauce and pasta together and if it is not creamy enough add a 1/2 cup of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Do this in small increments to get the perfect consistency.
- Finally add the chopped basil and serve in bowls with Italian bread, grated cheese, and (if any) the extra sauce. Enjoy!
- Make sure to use heavy cream to avoid breaking the sauce.
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