Italian Sausage Pasta

Embark on a culinary journey to Italy with our delectable Italian Sausage Pasta recipe. This comforting dish combines the robust flavors of savory Italian sausage, aromatic herbs, creamy sauce, and vibrant sun-dried tomatoes and spinach, creating a symphony of taste that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re cooking for a cozy family dinner or entertaining guests, this savory pasta dish is guaranteed to impress. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to recreate the flavors of Italy in your own kitchen.


Prepare to delight your senses with these flavorful ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces uncooked rigatoni
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut, packed in oil, drained
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • Salt to taste


Follow these simple steps to create a memorable Italian meal:

  1. Prepare the Sausage Mixture: In a large skillet over medium heat, begin browning the Italian sausage. After 3-4 minutes, add the finely chopped onion and continue cooking until the sausage is browned and the onions are soft. Reduce the heat to low, then add the minced garlic, dried marjoram, black pepper, crushed rosemary, dried thyme leaves, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Plate the sausage mixture and cover it with foil to keep warm.
  2. Cook the Rigatoni: While the sausage is cooking, cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Creamy Sauce: In the same skillet used for the sausage, add the chicken broth, using a spatula to deglaze the bottom and collect all the flavorful brown bits. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the sauce to reduce by about half, thickening it to a luxurious consistency.
  4. Add the Final Touches: Once the sauce has reduced, reduce the heat to low and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, drained sun-dried tomatoes, and baby spinach. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted, infusing the sauce with rich flavor and vibrant color. Add the reserved sausage mixture and cooked rigatoni to the skillet, stirring gently to coat everything evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ensuring each bite is perfectly seasoned.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve Immediately: Italian Sausage Pasta is best served immediately after cooking to enjoy its flavors and textures at their peak. Transfer the pasta to serving plates or a large serving dish, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs for a beautiful presentation.
  2. Family-Style Dining: For a cozy family dinner or casual gathering, serve the Italian Sausage Pasta directly from the skillet or a large pasta bowl placed in the center of the table. Allow guests to help themselves, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  3. Pairing Suggestions: Complement the rich flavors of the pasta with a crisp green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette or a side of garlic bread for a complete and satisfying meal. A glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, pairs beautifully with the savory notes of the dish.
  4. Reheating Instructions: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer the pasta to a microwave-safe dish and heat on medium power in 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Alternatively, reheat the pasta on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent it from drying out.
  5. Freezing Option: Italian Sausage Pasta can be frozen for longer storage. Allow the pasta to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Press out any excess air, seal tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, transfer the pasta to the refrigerator overnight and reheat following the instructions above.
  6. Individual Portions: Consider portioning the leftover pasta into individual containers before refrigerating or freezing for convenient grab-and-go lunches or quick weeknight dinners. Simply reheat the desired portion as needed for a hassle-free meal.
  7. Fresh Garnishes: Before serving reheated leftovers, garnish with additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of chopped parsley or basil to revive the flavors and add a touch of brightness.
  8. Customization: Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your preferences by adding extra vegetables, such as bell peppers or mushrooms, or experimenting with different types of pasta shapes, such as penne or fusilli. The versatile nature of this dish allows for endless variations to suit your taste.
  9. Al dente Pasta: To ensure perfectly cooked pasta, cook the rigatoni until it is just al dente, or slightly firm to the bite. This prevents the pasta from becoming mushy when combined with the creamy sauce and other ingredients.
  10. Family Favorite: Italian Sausage Pasta is a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish that is perfect for weeknight dinners, special occasions, or casual gatherings. Whether enjoyed hot out of the skillet or reheated as leftovers, this comforting pasta dish is sure to bring smiles to the faces of family and friends alike.


  1. Spicy Kick: Add chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the sausage mixture for a spicy twist. For an extra kick, stir in a splash of hot sauce or chili paste to the creamy sauce.
  2. Creamy Mushroom: Enhance the richness of the dish by adding sliced mushrooms to the sausage mixture. Sauté the mushrooms until golden brown before combining them with the sauce for a decadent flavor.
  3. Herbaceous Delight: Experiment with different herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley to infuse the dish with fresh and aromatic flavors. Garnish with additional herbs before serving for a vibrant touch.
  4. Cheesy Goodness: Elevate the cheesiness by incorporating additional cheese varieties such as mozzarella, provolone, or fontina into the sauce. Sprinkle extra cheese on top before baking for a gooey and indulgent finish.
  5. Vegetarian Option: Replace the Italian sausage with plant-based sausage or crumbled tofu for a vegetarian-friendly version of the dish. Amp up the flavor with extra herbs and spices to compensate for the absence of meat.
  6. Seafood Sensation: Add shrimp, scallops, or chunks of white fish to the sauce for a seafood twist. Cook the seafood until opaque and tender before combining it with the pasta for a luxurious and flavorful dish.
  7. Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil: Focus on the classic combination of sun-dried tomatoes and basil for a burst of Mediterranean flavors. Stir in chopped fresh basil and extra sun-dried tomatoes for a vibrant and aromatic pasta dish.
  8. Lemon Garlic Infusion: Brighten up the dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and grated lemon zest. Add minced garlic to the sausage mixture for an extra layer of flavor that complements the creamy sauce beautifully.
  9. Cajun Influence: Incorporate Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning into the sausage mixture for a Southern-inspired twist. Serve the pasta with a side of cornbread or collard greens for a complete meal with a hint of spice.
  10. Pesto Perfection: Replace the creamy sauce with homemade or store-bought pesto sauce for a vibrant and herbaceous variation. Toss the cooked pasta with the pesto sauce and sausage mixture for a flavorful and colorful dish.


  1. Can I use a different type of pasta? Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape such as penne, fusilli, or spaghetti instead of rigatoni. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the pasta shape you choose.
  2. Can I use turkey or chicken sausage instead of Italian sausage? Yes, you can substitute turkey or chicken sausage for Italian sausage if you prefer a lighter option. Ensure the sausage is fully cooked before combining it with the sauce.
  3. Can I make this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the sausage mixture and sauce ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. Combine the components and bake the pasta just before serving for the best results.
  4. Can I freeze leftovers? Certainly! Italian Sausage Pasta freezes well. Transfer cooled leftovers to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  5. How can I make this dish healthier? To lighten up the dish, use lean Italian sausage, substitute half-and-half or milk for heavy cream, and increase the amount of vegetables such as spinach or bell peppers.

With its hearty Italian sausage, creamy sauce, and flavorful blend of herbs and vegetables, our Italian Sausage Pasta recipe is a celebration of Italian cuisine that will transport you to the streets of Italy with every bite. Whether enjoyed as a comforting weeknight meal or served at a special gathering, this savory pasta dish is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, gather your ingredients and immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Italy with this mouthwatering recipe. Buon Appetito!