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Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Cream Sauce

Sausage with Rigatoni in Spicy Cream Sauce is pure comfort food and makes an easy and delicious weeknight meal. The flavor starts with onion and garlic which are sauteed with the sausage for maximum flavor.

Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Cream Sauce


A can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce are then added. I think it’s nice to have a few chunks of tomato in an otherwise creamy sauce. A tablespoon of tomato paste really ups the tomato flavor.

Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Sauce


Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce


This recipe has the perfect balance between tomatoes and cream.  A half a cup of cream makes it plenty rich and creamy, but doesn’t make it heavy.

A little salt, pepper, dried basil (you could use fresh), and red pepper flakes are all that’s needed for the sauce as far as seasoning.

Parmesan cheese is added last minute to the sauce for more flavor, plus it helps thicken the sauce. Use either hot or mild sausage. I usually go with hot.

Whenever I make this meal, I think- I don’t cook rigatoni nearly enough! I love the chewiness and substance it has.

Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce


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Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce

Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Cream Sauce

Italian Sausage Rigatoni in Spicy Cream Sauce makes an easy weeknight meal. The sauce has the perfect balance between tomatoes and cream.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes


  • 12 ounces Rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Italian sausage Remove from casings if in casings, use either sweet or spicy
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook onion until it starts to soften. Add sausage, and break it into pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • When sausage is no longer pink, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place drained pasta in a large bowl.
  • Add cream and simmer another 5 minutes, Turn heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  • Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat.


Calories: 740kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

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114 thoughts on “Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Cream Sauce”

  1. My husband and Korean mother both LOVED this dish, and my mother usually steers away from Italian. The spiciness helped cut the creaminess of the sauce, making for one perfectly balanced meal. Thank you for this excellent recipe!

  2. Probably have made this 6 times in last year, really tasty. First couple times it was too salty. I only add a pinch of salt as the dish is plenty salty with sausage and Parmesan cheese.

  3. Hi Christin. I cook ALOT and must say this was a yummy recipe. I have other pasta recipes that are equally delicious, however it’s nice to try something new . I used hot Italian sausages and Fire Roasted tomatoes to give it a little more kick and I’m glad I did…super result!

  4. This is the best darn thing I have ever made and that I have ever eaten and my boyfriend loves it so much! I use both mild and spicy sausage and a sweet yellow onion, but omg i make this so often cuz the boyfriend requests it so much!! I wish that i could give 10 stars!! THANK YOU for this recipe!!!!!!!

  5. Doreen Galea

    I came across this recipe when I googled. Sounded good so I made it. It was yum and the spicy sausage added flavour. My hubby loved it too. After a week of extremly high temperatures here in Oz and a cool change today we felt like some pasta. Will be making again. Thanks 😊

  6. Pam Christian

    My two men loved this! As did I, loved it enough to sign up for your blog, which I’ve never done before!

  7. Made this a number of times now but with greek yogurt instead of cream and I have to say this has become one of my favourite meals. Everyone I’ve made it for have really enjoyed it as well. In fact I am making it again today. Can’t wait till it’s ready!!! Thanks

  8. Excellent , I made homemade Italian saisage. , it turned out wonderfully. Thanks for sharing an excellent recipe.

  9. This recipe is very good. I sautéed the onions & garlic after I browned the sausage. Then put sausage back in pan and added tomato paste then a cup of white wine & let it boil a couple minutes. Then put the tomatoes & sauce in.

  10. Made this tonight and it was super yummy!! Could leftovers be frozen? Thanks for yummy recipes!

    1. Leftovers could be frozen if you didn’t mix it with the pasta. Cooked pasta doesn’t reheat very well.

  11. This is an excellent dish. Making it the second time tonight for my daughter whose home from college on spring break. I used a combination of mild and spicy sausage.

  12. Made this for the first time tonight and it was OUTSTANDING! Puts any Italian restaurant to shame. Will definitely make again…..really soon. 🙂

  13. Amy Murauskis

    I love this recipe! It reminds me of my favorite dish from my favorite Italian restaurant. I added one package of diced pancetta and it was heavenly. I cooked that first and removed it, then cooked the onions and sausage in the grease from the pancetta and added it back after the meat was browned. Highly recommend trying that 🙂

  14. Stephanie Snow

    Made a double batch of this tonight for dinner. Followed the recipe exactly. Perfect for a cool fall evening. My husband and I both loved it. He told me he already can’t wait for the leftovers!

  15. Andi Campbell

    Just popping by to say I’ve tried probably a dozen recipes off your website, and they’ve never let me down! Keep up the amazing work!!

  16. Sooo good. I chopped up mushrooms and added extra tomatos. Sooo good. Thabk you for the recipe.

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