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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. Of course I have to include this recipe in this week menu. looks delicious and it’s simply to do.

  2. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    Craving a bowl of this pasta right now.. it looks so comforting and delicious! Great recipe!

  3. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I feel like cavatappi is macaroni for fancy people heehee. 😀 I love this pasta, Christin! So hearty and warm for autumn!

  4. Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel

    Yummy, this sounds awesome! Your pics are beautiful! Love all the yummy flavors in here– so comforting!

  5. Chelsea+@chelseasmessyapron

    YUM! This pasta looks absolutely gorgeous and your photos are stunning! Wishing I was eating this for lunch today 🙂

  6. Shashi @ runninsrilankan

    I have been having a thing for Italian sausage lately – love your pairing of it with nutmeg in this! GORGEOUS photos Christin!

  7. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven

    This pasta is gorgeous and I LOVE your tip about the baking soda keeping the sausage tender! Must try that next time.

  8. holly ; the hobbit kitchen

    honestly, the first thing i thought when i saw the first picture here was I WANT TO MAKE THIS TONIGHT. unfortunately i have chilli in the freezer to eat tonight but i am making this so soon!!

    the hobbit kitchen x

  9. olivia - Primavera Kitchen

    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

  10. I seriously wish I had this pasta for lunch right now! It looks incredibly delicious! Love the baking soda tip too!

  11. Throw sausage into pasta and I’m one happy girl. That cream sauce sounds delicious, too! 🙂

  12. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

    What a great tip Christin! I’ve never heard of using baking soda to keep the sausage tender, definitely trying that out! Major love for this pasta!

  13. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This is just about my favorite comfort food in a bowl. Gorgeous pasta, Christin! I love the cream sauce that is paired with the sausage. Sounds perfect!

  14. Ashley | The Recipe Rebel

    Just beautiful! Your photos make me crave anything you are making! Love the combination of flavours here — so perfect for fall!

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