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This simple Spicy Sausage Pasta is such a delicious dinner that truly satisfies. Italian sausage is the hit in this recipe and you can take the heat to the level you prefer. A creamy parmesan tomato sauce, the perfect hint of Italian seasoning and spinach for some veggies too! The best pasta dinner!

Bowl of spicy sausage pasta with chopped parsley and basil on top.
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This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting pork farmers!

I have mentioned my husband does not do leftovers here more than a few times. Well, he ate leftovers of this new Spicy Sausage Pasta THREE times, and by choice. I think that about says it all!

When it comes to pork, Italian sausage is one of our favorites. I whip up this Sausage Gnocchi Soup allll the time and also add it to this Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta as well as this Creamy One Pot Pasta a lot. It just reminds me of my childhood and all the family gatherings and fun.

This new spicy Italian sausage pasta recipe is in partnership with my friends at Ohio Pork Council and I have no doubt it is going to be a new family favorite in your home just like it is in ours!

Why You Will Love This Spicy Sausage Pasta Recipe:

  • It’s super easy to make. You do have to stay by the stove for a bit, but overall, this Italian sausage pasta recipe is an easy one to whip up. Brown the sausage, whip up the sauce, boil the pasta and then toss everything together.
  • It’s easy to vary. Add extra veggies, use gluten free pasta, switch up the cheese a bit. Lots of ways to make this recipe work for you which is always what I love about any recipe, even my own. You can use the recipe as a general guide but also add some of your own personal touch to it!
  • You can kick up the heat, or not so much. Don’t be scared by the word spicy if it’s not your thing. You can easily adjust the spice level in this spicy sausage pasta and then allow everyone in the family to add more heat as desired. Start small and then add in if you are worried! And if you love spicy food, you can also go all in!
  • You are supporting local families. More than 3500 family farms in Ohio raise enough pork to feed about 25 million people. When you buy pork at the grocery store or the farmers market, you are supporting Ohio farm families that produce that pork. Gotta love supporting small, local farmers!
Bowl of spicy pasta Italian sausage pasta topped with chopped parsley and basil.

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • pasta: a short pasta works well in this recipe. I love using rigatoni, penne pasta, rotini or cavatappi. But you could really use any you have on hand. Use a gluten free pasta as well if needed, just make sure to cook according to the package for al dente–some of the gluten free pastas can be tricky.
  • Italian sausage: while this is a spicy sausage pasta, I actually opt for mild Italian sausage (pork sausage) or even sweet Italian sausage in this recipe. For one, mild sausage still has a subtle kick to it but if you are up for it and really love a good spice, hot Italian sausage is definitely an option as well! The other reason is that this more of a spicy sauce so the heat is there versus the meat!
  • onion: sweet onion, red onion, or even a shallot will all work
  • garlic: we prefer freshly minced garlic cloves in this pasta. If you don’t have any, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • diced tomatoes: pour the canned tomatoes in with the juices, do not drain. You can use crushed tomatoes for a saucier dish.
  • broth: I use chicken broth. You can use another if you don’t have any. A white cooking wine is also great in this recipe if you want to add a splash of that instead. Chicken stock will work if that is what you have on hand!
  • heavy cream: heavy cream is ideal to keep this tomato sauce thick and creamy. If you are not wanting to use cream, half and half can work but the consistency will not be the same and since it has lower fat content, it can curdle in the sauce. Also if you want a more saucy pasta, feel free to go heavy on the cream!
  • parmesan: freshly grated parmesan cheese is ideal as it will melt into the sauce better than shaved or grated.
  • Italian seasoning: if you don’t have any, just make your own with equal parts dried basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary and parsley.
  • spices: to add the spicy flavor to this dish, use a combination of crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. You can start with half of the recommended amount and then add more to taste.
  • spinach: fresh baby spinach is my preference. You could use frozen if desired.
  • basil: fresh basil is optional but I love adding it in right before serving for another layer of flavor.

How to Make This Recipe:

To make this Italian Sausage Pasta recipe, you only need to chop the onion and grab all the ingredients. Minimal prep for sure!

  • Prepare your pasta according to the package and cook until al dente.
  • Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a deep large skillet or dutch oven set to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for several minutes or until it starts to become translucent. Add the Italian sausage and break into chunks. Brown the meat and then drain excess grease and wipe the pan of any extra. Set the meat aside.
  • Add the tomatoes, broth, cream, garlic and seasonings to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium/medium low and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes allowing it to thicken and reduce slightly.
  • Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Stir in the spinach to wilt.
  • Once the spinach is wilted, add the freshly cooked pasta and the browned Italian sausage and onions into the pan. Top with chopped basil. Stir to toss and coat with the pasta sauce. Simmer for a couple minutes to meld in the flavors.
  • Serve garnished with freshly grated parmesan and more chopped basil or chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Recipe TipS

  • If you want a super saucy pasta, try the following: omit 1/4 of the pasta you use to get a much more saucy pasta dish. You can alternatively double the sauce ingredients instead if you want to use the entirety of the pasta. The creamy tomato sauce is more of a coating with a little extra here and there but it’s not overly saucy. Choose what you prefer!
  • Cook your Italian sausage to an internal temperature of 165°F. Some sausage can still retain a slightly pink look so using a meat thermometer is a good idea.
  • Make sure to cook your pasta al dente. This will keep the pasta from getting overly mushy when it simmers in the sauce for a few minutes. No one wants soggy, mushy pasta!
Spicy Italian sausage pasta in skillet with chopped basil and parsley.

Storage:

Store leftover pasta in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish, refrigerate the leftovers for optimal flavor and texture. To reheat, microwave for about 2 minutes.

Ways to Vary this Recipe:

While we love this easy pasta recipe as it is, there are certainly a variety of ingredients you can add to change it up a bit. Try adding any of the following:

  • add wine: add a splash of red wine to the sauce, about 1/4 cup when making the sauce will add a richness and a new layer of flavor
  • add more vegetables: feel free to dice up a red bell pepper, or another color, and sauté with the onion
  • change up the cheese: you can use another grated cheese such as Romano, Asiago or a combination of several–more cheese is always great!

What To Serve with This Dish:

While this pasta dish is a meal in itself, it’s still great to pair it with something delicious, right? If you want more veggies, this Spring Salad is great (ahem, the sourdough croutons and burrata are key) or some Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts are great. Air Fryer Broccoli would be another option. Oh and these Parmesan Roasted Green Beans are AMAZING.

A crusty loaf of bread is great on the side as well! These Stuffed Crescent Rolls would pair nicely.

As for dessert? A Nutella Mug Cake always goes well with a nice pasta dinner. Some Lemon Ice Cream is refreshing. And speaking of lemon, how about a big slice of Champagne Lemon Cake?

Bowl of pasta with Italian sausage, tomatoes and spinach with forkful of pasta.

Other Pork Recipes:

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5 from 4 votes

Spicy Sausage Pasta

This simple, delicious Spicy Sausage Pasta is such a great meal that truly satisfies. Italian sausage is the hit in this recipe and you can take the heat to the level you prefer. A creamy parmesan tomato sauce, the perfect hint of Italian seasoning and spinach for some veggies too! The best pasta dinner!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

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Instructions 

  • Cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions. While pasta cooks, add a tablespoon olive oil to a deep skillet or dutch oven at medium high and add onion. Cook for a few minutes or until translucent. Add in the Italian sausage and break into chunks. Brown and cook until 165°F. Drain excess grease and set meat and onion aside, loosely covered if desired.
  • Set the heat to medium/medium low and add tomatoes, broth, cream, garlic, and seasoning and stir. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced. Stir in the parmesan cheese and stir well until melted. Add spinach and allow to wilt.
  • Once spinach is wilted, add the freshly cooked pasta and sausage and onion mixture. Stir to toss and coat evenly. Add the freshly chopped basil over top and serve.

Notes

  • If you want a super saucy pasta, try the following: omit 1/4 of the pasta you use to get a much more saucy pasta dish. You can alternatively double the sauce ingredients instead if you want to use the entirety of the pasta. The creamy tomato sauce is more of a coating with a little extra here and there but it’s not overly saucy. Choose what you prefer!
  • Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish, refrigerate the leftovers for optimal flavor. To reheat, microwave for about 2 minutes.
  • Cook your Italian sausage to an internal temperature of 165°F. Some sausage can still retain a slightly pink look so using a meat thermometer is a good idea.
  • Make sure to cook your pasta al dente. This will keep the pasta from getting overly mushy when it simmers in the sauce for a few minutes. No one wants soggy, mushy pasta!

Nutrition

Calories: 516kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 839mg, Potassium: 600mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1454IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 140mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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