Spicy sausage pasta is warming, hearty and utterly delicious - comfort food at its best! It's also very easy to make with just a handful of ingredients for the perfect fuss-free weeknight dinner.
This spicy sausage pasta is a creamy yet light pasta dish that's bound to become your new favorite. It doesn't have any butter or heavy cream, yet it's still moreish and incredibly comforting.
This spicy sausage pasta sauce proves that simple things are always best. The slightly crispy sausage, the tomato sauce made creamy with light cream cheese and just the perfect mix of spices and herbs make it the dream comfort dish.
It's a perfect dish for a quick weeknight dinner because it takes only 30 minutes to make. It's so good that everyone will want seconds, so you may want to double up
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this spicy sausage pasta recipe, and you can easily adjust the level of spiciness to make it just perfect for your family.
Why you'll love this spicy sausage pasta
- It's extra creamy and delicious without any butter or heavy cream.
- You can have it on the table in 30 minutes.
- The dish is medium spicy as written, but you can easily adjust it to suit your taste.
What goes into spicy sausage rigatoni?
Olive oil - You only need a splash of extra virgin olive oil to fry the Italian sausage in.
Italian sausage - Use mild Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage, depending on how hot you want the pasta dish. I used regular sausage and made the sauce spicy by adding cayenne pepper.
Red onion - Shallots are a good substitute for red onion in this recipe.
Garlic - Freshly chopped garlic results in the best flavor, but you can also use frozen garlic if that's what you have on hand.
Tomato paste - Feel free to add more tomato paste if you want a more pronounced flavor. Crushed tomatoes are another option.
Chicken stock - You can use some of the reserved pasta water instead of chicken broth.
Cream cheese - Light cream cheese is perfect here because there's enough fat from the sausage in the sauce.
Pasta - Rigatoni have just the perfect shape for this hot sausage pasta
How to make creamy spicy sausage pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Add the red onion and garlic to the pan with the cooked sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it to cover in sauce. Add some pasta water if it looks too thick.
Recipe notes and tips
- Deglaze the pot with ⅓ cup (75 ml) dry white wine before adding the tomato paste for extra flavor.
- Stir in some baby spinach or frozen peas to increase the veggie content of this pasta dish.
- This Italian sausage pasta is best served immediately, but if you have any leftovers, you can store them for up to 3 days in an airtight container and reheat them in the microwave.
If you liked this spicy sausage pasta recipe, you might also like some of my other creamy pasta recipes:
- Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe
- Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta
- Easy Creamy Spicy Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Red Pesto Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta
- 8 oz (250 g) rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ lb (250 g) Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs mix
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
- ½ cup (75 g) light cream cheese
- ⅓ cup (30 g) grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan or Dutch oven and fry the sausage for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Break it down a bit with your spoon while it’s cooking.
- Add the red onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the cayenne pepper, paprika and Italian herbs mix, then add the tomato paste, chicken stock and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer and stir until you have a creamy sauce.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it to cover in sauce. Add some pasta water if it looks too thick.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan and fresh parsley, season to taste and serve immediately, with some extra grated Parmesan on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 646mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.