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With a delicious light cream sauce, this Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta is a winner for all seasons and easy to get on the table in about 25 minutes. We all love how the flavorful sauce clings to nubby pasta shapes, and I especially love how quick and easy this is to whip up after a busy day.

Shallow pasta bowl full of creamy tomato sausage pasta garnished with fresh basil and Parmesan.

Why We Love It

This meal comes together so fast and in such a simple way, yet tastes like it could be on the menu at your favorite little Italian restaurant. The combination of tender pasta, flavor-packed crumbled Italian sausage, and a silky smooth tomato cream sauce is just simple perfection.

Based on this super simple creamy tomato pasta, which my whole family agrees is a dinnertime winner, this is a great recipe to pull out of your back pocket on busy days when you still want a home-cooked meal.

I also love that the sauce is creamy yet light. I’m all about enjoying a cream sauce but don’t personally find it necessary to glug up my skillet — or my arteries — with entire cups of heavy cream to reap the benefits in the taste department. A small amount reduced with white wine or broth makes a magical sauce that clings to the pasta without weighing it — or you — down.

Ingredient & Substitution Notes

Labeled overhead photo of pasta, ground Italian sausage, tomato sauce, white wine, fresh basil, garlic cloves, cream, Italian seasoning, tomato pasta, and grated Parmesan cheese, all in prep bowls and ready to cook.

A few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need; find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  • Pasta. Use any medium-sized tubular shape you like: think penne, bowties, rotini, etc. The fun corkscrews shown here are cavatappi, a personal favorite.
  • Ground Italian sausage. For the easiest prep, purchase ground Italian sausage, usually sold with other ground meats in a package that looks much like ground beef. If you can’t find this for any reason, you can use sausage links and either remove the casings and crumble, or slice and brown it in coins. In the flavor department, use whatever you like – I usually choose sweet Italian sausage for the sake of my kiddos, but spicy, mild, or a specialty flavor can all be great.
  • Garlic. Fresh minced is ideal for maximum flavor.
  • Tomato sauce and tomato paste. For a silky yet rich sauce.
  • White wine or chicken broth.
  • Cream. A little goes a long way to enrich the sauce! I typically opt for heavy cream; light cream or half and half do work, too. They’re just a little thinner, and your sauce will be, too.
  • Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Fresh basil and Parmesan for serving.

How To Make Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta

This is an overview; find full ingredients & instructions in the printable recipe card below.

This truly is a simple dish to toss together. I actually find it calming!

Begin as you might expect, by boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water just prior to adding the pasta, so it has a very slight flavor all by itself.

While the water starts coming to a boil, crumble and brown the sausage. Be sure to use a pan large enough to accommodate the entire dish, pasta and all. It’s all getting mixed in there!

Continue the sauce by adding the garlic followed rapidly by the tomato sauce, tomato pasta, wine or broth, and seasonings. Let this mixture simmer into a smooth sauce, then stir in the cream last.

Pro Tip

If the timing works out, you don’t need to drain the pasta into a colander, then toss into the sauce. Use a wide slotted spoon to transfer cooked pasta directly from the boiling water into the sauce. It’s OK if a little water comes with it!

Add lots of lovely basil and Parmesan. Pat yourself on the back, because dinner is done!

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

  • Be sure to cook the pasta just to al dente. Better to err on the side of a little bite than on the side of mush.
  • Use your favorite gluten-free pasta to make the whole dish gluten-free.
  • Opt for high-quality tomatoes if you can. They’re the base of the sauce, after all. Our favorite brand is Muir Glen, but honestly I get great results from canned tomato products at Trader Joe’s, which are very affordable.
  • Add a couple generous handfuls of baby spinach or Tuscan kale for some built-in greens. Mix these in just after swirling in the cream, and they will wilt lightly into the sauce.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat. This is especially useful if you’re using a sweet or mild sausage for kids but others want a little kick.

Serving Suggestions

This pasta is fairly rich, so for an everyday dinner I like to pair it with a light salad — arugula, carrot, or simple greens with Italian dressing always work well — or steamed green beans or broccoli. Making an event of it? Add garlic bread, breadsticks, or Texas toast for the full experience. 🙂

Table set with two bowls of creamy tomato sausage pasta and extra Parmesan.

Storage & Reheating

Creamy tomato sausage pasta keeps and reheats very well. The sauce does not tend to separate as long as it’s not warmed for too long or over excessively high heat.

  • Storage: Leftovers keep very well for 3-4 days. Store in any airtight container in the fridge. (These are our favorite meal prep boxes!)
  • Reheating: Warm in the microwave or over medium-low heat in a small saucepan. Add a splash of broth or water to help loosen the sauce and minimize sticking, only if needed.

Related Recipes

If you enjoy this, give my creamy tomato tortellini, tomato meatball soup, Italian chicken sausage pasta, or creamy Italian sausage pasta with a light sauce and wilted greens a try next.

Pasta with crumbled sausage in a creamy tomato sauce, topped with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.

If you try this Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta

A winner for all seasons and easy to get on the table in about 25 minutes. We all love how the flavorful sauce clings to nubby pasta shapes, and I especially love how quick and easy this is to whip up after a busy day.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 8 ounces ground Italian sausage sweet, mild, spicy, whatever you like
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • fresh basil and Parmesan for serving

Instructions

  • Boil a large pot of water. Add a generous pinch of salt, followed by the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, crumble the sausage in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it browns. When the sausage is nearly all browned, add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant.
  • Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine or broth, and Italian seasoning. Stir into a smooth sauce and let simmer for 1-2 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and stir in the cream. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until it’s as thick as you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (I usually find this has enough seasoning from the sausage, but this will depend on your taste.)
  • Add drained pasta, toss well, and serve with generous sprinkles of basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 526 kcal, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Protein: 18 g, Fat: 25 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 1001 mg, Potassium: 695 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 796 IU, Vitamin C: 10 mg, Calcium: 80 mg, Iron: 3 mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!