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Italian sausage penne close-up

Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta

This spicy Italian sausage pasta is fast, easy, and uses minimal ingredients. It's the perfect weeknight dinner that tastes like it came from a restaurant!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword spicy Italian sausage pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 598kcal


  • 8 ounces uncooked penne
  • 10.6 ounces hot Italian sausages crumbled (see note)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 large leaves basil sliced/torn into small pieces
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  • Take the sausage meat out of the casings and crumble it into a deep skillet. Cook it for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until browned.
  • Once the sausage is browned, take it out of the pan and set it aside. Drain the fat.
  • Add the garlic, followed by the chicken broth to the skillet. Sprinkle the flour in. Whisk it until the flour has dissolved, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook this mixture until it's significantly reduced (should only take a minute or two in total).
  • Add in the tomatoes, cream, and the sausage meat. Cook the sauce for a few more minutes until it's thickened to your liking. Season with salt & pepper as needed.
  • Just prior to serving, add in the torn basil leaves and then toss with the drained pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


  • I used 3 sausages from a 5-pack of Johnsonville hot Italian sausages. Anything in the 10.6 oz ballpark will work, or you can even use more sausage meat if you wish. You can use mild Italian sausages if you prefer.
  • I don't recommend substituting the heavy cream because the acidity in the tomatoes will likely curdle half-and-half or milk.
  • If you don't have any basil, feel free to leave it out, but I really like the fresh flavor it adds.
  • I used my handy Microplane zester/grater to grate the parmesan.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg