Using a flavorful sauce made with tomato, Italian sausage, and garlic, this simple penne con salsiccia (penne with sausage) is an easy and tasty weeknight pasta recipe!
I am all about fast pasta dishes, like come together in the time it takes to boil pasta, fast. Not that a good day-long Sunday sauce isn't kiss-the-chef good, but I often don't have time. I love a quick sauce made with simple and fresh ingredients like good tomato and garlic.
This sauce is no different, it comes together in less than 15 minutes. Just the give the penne pasta a couple of quick stirs in the sauce with some reserved pasta water and it's ready to serve.
Salsiccia pasta sauce gets it's backbone from sautéed onion, garlic, and Italian sausage. I prefer this dish to have a little bit of kick so I use spicy sausage or even chorizo, but you can easily use a mild sausage and omit the red pepper flakes if you prefer.
Bonus points if you can find a sausage brand made with Calabrian peppers! This Italian pepper adds a ton of flavor!
- Italian Sausage
- Grated Parmesan
- Olive Oil
Full ingredient list below.
Penne salsiccia is the classic variation of this dish, but some other pasta shapes that would work are rigatoni, tagliatelle, and pappardelle.
If you are feeling luxurious, adding heavy cream creates a really hardy and comforting tomato sauce!
Save your pasta water! It is like liquid gold when making good Italian pasta recipes. When you finish the cooked pasta in the sauce, add a cup or so of the pasta water and the starch will help the sauce thicken and stick to the noodles.
More Pasta Recipes
Looking for some other pasta recipes? Check out these,
Penne con Salsiccia (Penne with Sausage)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more for the pasta water)
- 8 oz penne pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for topping)
- 1 small onion (diced finely)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (plus more for topping
- 1 spicy Italian sausage (or other sausage, skin peeled off)
- 2 cups diced canned tomatoes
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- fresh oregano (for garnish)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a good pinch of salt. Cook your penne pasta according to the package directions, usually 8-9 minutes for al dente. Save 1 cup of pasta water and drain. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, bring a large fry pan to medium high heat and the olive oil, diced onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes or until the onions starts to brown.
- Add the sausage (peel removed) and break into small bits with a wooden spoon and stir into the onions. Sauté until slightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the pasta water and cook for another 5-7 minutes for the sauce to come together.
- Add the cooked penne and toss until well coated in the sauce. Serve with some chopped oregano or basil.
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- Cook meat to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove