Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta
This creamy sausage and tomato pasta is the perfect one-pot weeknight dinner recipe. I’m always looking for easy and flavorful recipes to throw together on a weeknight! I love combining pantry staples with odds and ends from my freezer to create a delicious meal in no time at all. If you’ve got pasta and tomato paste on hand with a couple of other ingredients, you’re ready to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Serve with my favorite Kale Caesar Salad and some crusty bread for a complete meal.
What’s in the Creamy Tomato Sauce?
Think tomato vodka sauce minus the vodka! We’re going for classic red sauce vibes, but we balance the acidity of the tomato paste with some mascarpone, heavy cream, and butter. I also add some shallots, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes for a kick.
How to Make Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta
This recipe couldn’t be easier to throw together on a weeknight! It’s got less than 10 ingredients and you can easily customize it with different proteins, pasta, and veggies.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Spicy Italian sausage. I love a little kick of spice, so I always go for spicy sausage. You could swap in sweet or mild sausage, ground beef, or any other ground meat!
- Shallots. I love using shallots for a kick of onion flavor without being overwhelming.
- Garlic. Is it even a good meal without garlic??
- Tomato paste. Tomato paste is more heavily concentrated in flavor and I always have some in my pantry.
- Pasta. Pick your favorite shape here, but just make sure to save some of that pasta water.
- Mascarpone. Mascarpone is a creamy Italian cheese and I love adding it to pasta. If you can’t find it, just add a little extra heavy cream.
- Cream. Adding a little cream to the sauce adds some richness and balances out the acidity from the tomato paste.
- Parmesan. Stir a little parmesan into the pasta at the end and top with more to really take this creamy sausage and tomato pasta recipe to the next level.
Ways to customize creamy sausage and tomato pasta
This recipe really is just a base that can be expanded on to accommodate whatever you have on hand! Here are some ways to customize this pasta recipe to your tastes.
- Switch up the protein. I love the flavor that Italian sausage adds, but you can easily swap in ground beef, turkey, chicken, or even meatballs (I always have a freezer stash!). If you’re vegetarian, try some hearty mushrooms or even chickpeas!
- Bulk up the veggies. Do you have some leftover veggies that you need to use? This creamy sausage and tomato pasta is the perfect way to use them up! This recipe would be great with the addition of spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, or bell peppers!
- Swap the pasta. I used a new pasta shape at Trader Joe’s (fusilli corti bucati) which is like a twisty bucatini and I loved it! Use whatever you have on hand like penne, rigatoni, paccheri, or even long noodles like pappardelle or spaghetti.
Freezing creamy sausage and tomato pasta
Another reason why I love this sauce: it freezes like a dream! I’m all about making enough food so that I can stash sauces and such away for busy nights.
To freeze this sauce: Cool to room temperature and transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe ziplock bag. Make sure to label it and you can keep it for up to 6 months! I tend to freeze the sauce solo because I find that pasta doesn’t hold up as well, but you can totally freeze them together.
To defrost: Transfer to the fridge to defrost overnight and re-warm in a skillet. Toss in your freshly cooked pasta and you’re ready to go!
Other One-Pot Recipes to Try Now
This post contains affiliate links from which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links allow me to keep providing great recipes for free and I never recommend products that I don’t love and personally own.
Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter divided
- 2 shallots minced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 lb. hot Italian sausage removed from the casings
- 8 oz tomato pasta
- 2 cups reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup mascarpone room temperature
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- 12 oz. pasta
- Kosher salt
- Fresh Basil
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and season liberally with kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water, drain the pasta and set aside. You can lightly toss the pasta with olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, crushed red pepper, and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often until softened. Add the Italian sausage and use a wooden spoon to break it up. Cook until browned.
- Once the sausage is browned, add the tomato paste and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until deeply red in color. Add the pasta water and use it to pull up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until thick and then stir in the mascarpone, remaining butter, and cream.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and stir in the parmesan cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then season to taste. Divide the pasta into bowls and top with more parmesan and torn fresh basil leaves.