This sausage pasta recipe is a weeknight meal staple. Very few ingredients means minimal shopping but don’t let the simplicity fool you! This is Italian comfort food at its best – rich in flavor, simple to make and loved by the whole family! (Especially the cook!)
This simple sausage pasta recipe is based on one I discovered years ago by Mario Batali. It became one of my go-to recipes for easy pasta when our yacht guests demanded most of my time but the crew still needed to be fed. Years later it is still one of my favorite fast weeknight meals. I’m no longer cooking for a yacht full of demanding guests but my little girls and busy schedule as a working mum require similar speed in the kitchen. This is truly a 30-minute meal and Italian comfort food that features on our table at least once a month. Left overs are great the next day too so it’s a slam dunk for busy weeknight meals.
In the US you would make this with sweet Italian sausage. Here in France I use chipolatas but whenever I drive across the border into Italy I stop to buy sausages. The French may be better at bread and pastries but when it comes to sausages there is no comparison. Italy wins hands down.
The same is true when it comes to tomatoes. This recipe only calls for tomato paste, not canned tomatoes, but the rule still applies. No matter where in the world you are cooking this pasta or any other dish that requires canned tomatoes – ITALIAN IS BEST! Tomatoes are an essential ingredient to Italian cuisine so they take them very seriously. Elsewhere in the world tomatoes which are not good enough for market are the ones that end up in cans. They are often underripe, orange, and flavorless. But the Italians are so dependent on their canned tomatoes that they are equal quality to those you see in the market in July. Moral of the story: When it comes to canned tomato products choose Italian. Mutti and Cirio are the two brands I use.
This sausage pasta recipe is best made with a short, curly noodle. The tomato and wine sauce coats the noodles while the little chunks of sausage are easily picked up with a fork full of curly noodles. I usually use casarecce, trofie, cavatappi or fusilli. If you don’t have any of those you can use penne.Print
A quick weeknight meal that is short on ingredients but full of flavor.
- Prep Time: 8 min
- Cook Time: 22 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, medium dice
- 1 lb (450g) sweet Italian sausage
- 6 tablespoons good quality Italian tomato paste (tomato concentrate)
- 1/2 cup (175 ml) dry white wine
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) milk (whole or low-fat, do not use skimmed)
- 1 lb (450g) curly pasta
- handful of chopped parsley (optional)
- grated parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the onion. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring often until soft and translucent.
- While the onions are cooking remove the sausage meat from the casings and discard the casings.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- When the onions are soft add the sausage to the pan. Cook the sausage, smushing it and breaking up the meat into small bite-size pieces while it cooks with a wooden spoon. Allow the sausage to get quite golden brown and caramelized. This may take 8-10 mins.
- Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir to combine with the sausage. Cook the tomato paste, stirring often, until it reaches a deep rust color, about 5-7 min.
- Meanwhile add salt to the boiling water and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta until al denté, according to the instructions on the package. Drain.
- Add the wine to the pan with the sausage and allow it to simmer off until almost all the liquid is evaporated.
- Add the milk to the pan, lower the heat to medium and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, until the milk and tomato paste have thickened to create a thick sauce.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan with the sausage sauce and, over a low heat, toss the pasta well with the sauce until all of the noodles are well coated in the sauce.
- Turn out on to a platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with parmesan on the side.
Keywords: Sausage pasta, weeknight meal, simple pasta