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Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce

Pasta coated in a rich, creamy sauce with Parmesan cheese and nicely browned and crusted Italian sausage equals comfort food in a bowl. This meal is irresistible and perfect for enjoying by the fire on a cold autumn night.

Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce


I used cavatappi, but you could also use penne, fusilli, or orecchiette (which is the one I really wanted to use but couldn’t find.)

Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce


I used a pound of bulk mild Italian sausage, but you could use hot Italian sausage instead. For cooking the sausage I used a method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated. Ordinarily if you sauté Italian sausage and break it apart as it cooks, by the time you develop some nice browning on it, the sausage becomes a little dry and chewy.

Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce


But if you sprinkle some baking soda on it, let it sit for a few minutes, then cook it in a big patty so you can get a nice sear on each side without overcooking it, it stays fabulously tender. Take it out of the pan while still undercooked, chop it into bite-sized pieces and let it finish cooking in the cream sauce. Delicious!

Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce


Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce

Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce

Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce is comfort food in a bowl. Parmesan cheese, white wine, and a little nutmeg flavor this rich, tomatoless sauce.
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 20 mins
TOTAL: 30 mins


  • 1 pound sweet or mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 small sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 ounces pasta cooked until al dente, reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid


  • Sprinkle both sides of sausage with baking soda and shape into a large hamburger patty about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Let sit 10 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Place sausage on a plate or cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Transfer sausage to a bowl and add cream. Set aside.
  • If there is more than 1 1/2 tablespoons of grease in skillet, discard excess. Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  • Add wine and cook until reduced in half.
  • Add sausage/cream mixture and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add nutmeg, parsley, and Parmesan. Remove from heat and stir until cheese is melted. If sauce is too thick, add some reserved cooking liquid.
  • Toss sauce with pasta and serve.


Calories: 976kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian

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22 thoughts on “Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce”

  1. I wonder if you meant corn starch instead of baking soda? The baking soda added a really funky, bitter taste. Maybe just me but it wasn’t edible. I rinsed the pan after cooking the sausage and started with new butter (instead of oil) for the onions/garlic etc. I added a tablespoon of flour to the onions/garlic after they softened and then proceeded with the rest of the recipe. The cream sauce without the baking soda sausage was very good.

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