This quick and easy creamy Italian sausage pasta is a great weeknight pasta dinner that will be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Sure to be a family favorite with savory Italian sausage and rosemary.
I had a busy Friday and didn’t want to make anything too complicated for dinner, so I asked Mike to pick up some freshly made bucatini at the Italian market and I would come up with something simple for dinner, if nothing else, I would just make carbonara.
With Italian sausage, mushrooms and half-and-half, we ended up with a creamy Italian sausage pasta. It’s been on our rotation ever since.
Italian sausage pasta recipes are the best, like penne with artichokes, lasagna, pasta alla vodka, or stuffed shells, but none come together quite as easily as this skillet Italian sausage pasta.
What you’ll need for this under 30 minute dinner
- Bucatini/linguine – bucatini is one of my favorite shaped pastas and our Italian market has it fresh everyday. The hollow center of the spaghetti shaped pasta is perfect for sauces. You can use linguine or even fettuccine noodles if you prefer. I don’t always use fresh, dried will work just as well.
- Italian sausage – if you have an Italian market close by, they always have the best sausage. My second choice would be a butcher shop or the meat counter at your grocery. Try using a mix of sweet and hot.
- Fresh rosemary – since it only has a few ingredients, you want them to be fresh if possible. In most places you can grow rosemary all year long in a pot.
- Parmesan and mozzarella cheese – grate it yourself, it only takes a minute.
- Mushrooms and garlic – what would we do without them.
- White wine and lemon juice – you only need a half cup so you have the rest of the bottle to enjoy with dinner. You can substitute chicken broth if you prefer.
- Half-and-half – you need just a little cream to make it yummy.
- Lemon – just a little squeeze adds so much to balance the flavors.
For this simple pasta dish, I started with Italian sausage and added fresh rosemary while it was cooking. Once browned, I removed it and in the same skillet, I sautéd mushrooms and then added a little wine.
Next I added the sausage back to the skillet with some cream and a little more rosemary. With a splash of lemon, we had the most delicious pasta with very little effort. Don’t forget to add a bit of the pasta water to the dish, it will help the sauce absorb into the pasta.
How do you make pasta with Italian sausage and mushrooms
Step 1: Cook the sausage in a large skillet and mash some chopped rosemary into it while it’s cooking. Once cooked through remove it to a paper towel lined plate and then put it in a bowl and pour the cream over the top.
Step 2: Sauté the mushrooms and then add some garlic and white wine and let it cook off. Add the sausage cream mixture back to the skillet along with a little pasta water and let it simmer.
Step 3: Pour the sausage mixture over the cooked pasta and toss.
Step 4: Squeeze a lemon over the top and sprinkle some parmesan on top. You won’t believe how the lemon freshens up this sauce and balances all the ingredients.
It only uses ½ cup of wine so you’ll have the rest of the bottle to enjoy with your meal. This is one of of those recipes that’s so simple and takes very little thought, which is nice after a long day at the office. It’s one we make over and over again and it’s always a hit.
It’s also great reheated for leftovers!
FAQ’s and tips
Fresh is always my first choice and any shape will work, I like bucatini which is a thicker than a spaghetti noodle with a hollow center. This larger shape makes it great to soak up the creamy sauce.
The pasta releases some of its starch in the water when it’s boiling. This starch in the pasta water will help thicken the sauce.
Use a sharp knife or cooking shears and cut down the length of the sausage and it will peel right off.
If microwaving, add a splash of water first and stir every minute until warmed. If re-heating in the oven, cover with foil and bake at 350º for 5-10 minutes. You can also heat it in a skillet with a little olive oil, adding water as needed.
For a creamy sauce use mozzarella which is a good melting cheese due to its high moisture content. Add parmesan for the flavor.
Looking for more Italian sausage recipes
What goes with pasta
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Pasta with Italian Sausage
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 2 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- ¾ cup half-and-half
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 lb pasta bucatini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Remove casing from sausage and place in skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of rosemary and mash it into the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon while breaking up the sausage into small pieces. Continue to cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate. When slightly cooled, place in a bowl and pour half-and-half over it. Set aside.
- Cook pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, return the skillet to medium heat and if needed add some olive oil and then mushrooms. Saute, stirring often until soft and browned about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and pepper, cook for about 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until completely evaporated.
- Add sausage cream mixture to mushroom mixture along with ½ cup of reserved water and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until incorporated.
- Add sauce to pasta along with lemon juice and serve.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Reserve some of the pasta water to add back to the dish, it helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
- Try using a combination of sweet and hot sausage.
- If you like things spicy, add a dash of red pepper flakes.
- You can substitute chicken broth for white wine.
- Don’t substitute no fat milk for the half-and-half, it will not be creamy.
- It will taste best with freshly grated parmesan.
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