This delicious Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta recipe is a satisfying and flavorful meal that the family will love.
This recipe is not only delicious, but it is also easy to make, so it is an excellent option for busy weeknights. Plus, the sauce freezes well, so you can double up the recipe and freeze it for another night.
This is one of my kids' favorite dinners! So I am confident this Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta will be a hit with your family. I often add veggies right into the sauce, so check out the adaptions for ways to change this up to suit your family.
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These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients; for a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Pasta: The creamy meaty sauce is perfect with a thick noodle like fettuccine or tagliatelle. It also works with a chunk shape like rigatoni or penne.
Italian sausage: I like to use mild Italian sausage, but you can use sweet or hot Italian sausage instead. The recipe works well with ground Italian sausage meat as well.
Onion: You can use white, yellow, or brown onion.
Celery: This adds a balance of flavor to the sauce, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
Ground Fennel: This enhances the Italian sausage flavor and adds so much to the sauce. You can use fennel seeds and grind them in a pestle and mortar.
Nutmeg: Like the fennel, this enhances the taste of Italian sausage. Even though it is just a pinch, it makes a difference, but you can leave it out if you don't have any.
Red Pepper Flakes: Totally optional, especially if you use a hot sausage. You can vary the quantity up or down to suit your tastes.
Rosemary: Fresh or dried is fine. The recipe states dried, but if you have fresh, use twice as much.
Dry white wine: Any dry white wine you have will work here; I like a Soave or a Pinot Grigio.
Cream: You want to use heavy cream, thickened cream, or double cream. The sauce will not thicken as much if you use a thinner option like half and half or single cream.
Chicken Broth: Use a low-sodium/salt-reduced broth to give you control over the salt. You can replace this with vegetable stock if you prefer.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you, have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- Depending on your sausage, you might find you have a lot of fat rendered off. You can carefully pour this out of the skillet.
- Use a spatula or meat masher to break your sausage down so you have some crispy nuggets of meat.
- Cooking the onion and celery over a medium-low heat allows them to soften gently, meaning they break down and meld into the sauce better. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up and rush this step; it adds so much flavor and depth to the final sauce.
- When you add the wine, scrape any bits from the bottom of the skillet to add extra flavor to your sauce.
- When cooking your pasta, salt the water generously. It makes all the difference.
- Before draining the pasta, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water; it will help finish your sauce.
Why You'll Love This Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
- It is an authentic Italian meal the whole family will eat.
- It uses easy-to-find ingredients.
- It is affordable and easy to make.
- It is very easy to adapt.
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- Substitute the wine for extra chicken broth if you don't consume alcohol.
- Change up the sausages to change the flavor. Use a chicken sausage and add some fresh sage instead of rosemary. Use a peppery beef sausage and replace the fennel with dried thyme.
- Add some cooked and crumbled bacon and parmesan over the top of your finished dish.
- Add some veggies; you can add spinach, mushrooms, peas, or beans to the sauce.
- Instead of topping the finished dish with parmesan, add some mozzarella and finish the pasta under the broiler.
- Add a crunchy topping with a pangrattato.
- Add crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese to the top of your pasta!
- Get fancy with a bit of truffle. Drizzle the finished pasta with some truffle oil for a decadent dish. Or grate some fresh truffle over the pasta!
Sides: This creamy sausage pasta is perfect for serving with something crisp and light. Like a frisée salad or an arugula and parmesan salad. Oh, and a serving of focaccia or ciabatta.
Wine: Try a crisp, dry white wine like a Soave or Albariño. For those who love a red, a Montepulciano or a Gamey would be great too.
If you make this Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta, don't forget to come back and comment. You can also tag me on social media @sprinklesandsprouts
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
Get the Recipe
Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 oz Italian sausage meat - see note 1
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary - see note 2
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes - see note 3
- pinch nutmeg - see note 4
- ⅔ cup dry white wine - see note 5
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup chicken/vegetable broth
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta
- 12 oz dried pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- parmesan optional
- fresh parsley optional
Make the sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the Italian sausage and use a spatula to break the meat apart. Cook for 7-8 minutes until browned.14 oz Italian sausage meat
- Add the onions and celery and lower the heat. Cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.1 onion2 ribs celery
- Add the garlic, fennel, rosemary, red pepper flake, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat for 1 minute.2 cloves garlic1 teaspoon ground fennel1 teaspoon dried rosemary¼ teaspoon red pepper flakespinch nutmeg
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, and simmer for 2-3 minutes until reduced.⅔ cup dry white wine
- Add the cream and broth, season lightly with salt and pepper, then put a lid on the pan and cook over low heat for 20 minutes while you cook the pasta.1 cup heavy cream⅔ cup chicken/vegetable broth
Cook the pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the salt, and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet suggests.1 tablespoon salt12 oz dried pasta
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water, and then drain the pasta.
Finish the dish
- Add the cooked, drained pasta to the sauce and toss well to coat.
- Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and cook everything over medium-low heat until the pasta is cooked to your liking.
- Stir in the parmesan, adding more reserved cooking water if the sauce seems too thick. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.½ cup Parmesan cheesesalt and freshly ground black pepper
- Serve garnished with more parmesan and chopped parsley.parmesanfresh parsley
- I like to use mild Italian sausage, but you can use sweet or hot Italian sausage instead. The recipe works well with ground Italian sausage meat as well.
- The recipe uses dried rosemary, but if you have fresh, use twice as much.
- The red pepper flakes are optional, especially if you use a hot sausage. You can vary the quantity up or down to suit your tastes.
- You can leave out the nutmeg if you don't have any.
- Any dry white wine you have will work here; I like a Soave or a Pinot Grigio.
Nutrition is per serving