Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce

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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

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 976kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Pasta with Sausage Cream Sauce is comfort food in a bowl. Parmesan cheese, white wine, and a little nutmeg flavor this rich, tomatoless sauce.
Print Recipe


  • 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

You might also like this Italian Sausage Rigatoni 

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.

  2. I totally agree with you… this recipe is a comfort food in a bowl. Absolutely perfect for fall by the fire on a cold week night.I have some Italian sausage in my refrigerator, so I already know what I will be make with them soon

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