This yummy, hearty Italian sausage pasta is the perfect family dinner for cool weather days.
This pasta recipe has long been a family favorite – for my family, and for so many families who have tried it! This Rigatoni with Italian Sausage pasta dish has long been one of the most popular recipes on the blog. For good reason!
Rigatoni with Italian Sausage Pasta is:
- Easy to make
- Fast: Most people make this in 30 minutes, and some it takes a few minutes longer.
- A great pantry recipe, using up ingredients you most likely have on hand.
- Versatile: you can adjust the seasonings, the heat to your family's particular taste preferences.
This is an amazing dish when you are craving the ultimate comfort food. Those rich, hearty dishes that fill you up with warmth from the inside out.
I would eat pasta for lunch and dinner, at least four times a week, if I could. Pasta is versatile, and just goes with everything. It makes for great vegan dishes, vegetarian dishes, seafood, and meat recipes.
Italian Sausage with Rigatoni Pasta
Let's talk about what you need to make this Easy, Hearty Italian Sausage Pasta.
As far as equipment goes, you will need:
The ingredients are all listed with exact measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. But here's what you'll need to gather:
- Pasta - Rigatoni or other cylinder-shaped pasta is best
- Italian sausage - use either bulk ground Italian sausage, or Italian sausage links with the casings removed.
- Olive oil - Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil so that the dish starts off with the best flavor.
- Garlic - I use three cloves, but you can use more or less depending on your taste preference
- Onion - half of one small yellow onion, or a white onion will also work. Do not use a red onion.
- beef broth
- Tomatoes - use canned diced tomatoes
- Dried oregano
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh basil
- Kosher salt and pepper
It's so good. Not too spicy, and it doesn't have any "weird" ingredients the kids might balk at. It's just delicious comfort food at its best.
This is hearty Italian sausage pasta is one of my absolute favorite easy, satisfying family dinner recipes.
It's a great recipe that you can easily customize to your family's personal taste preference. I hope you try it and love it, too!
What's the best pasta shape to use in this recipe?
I have found rigatoni to be the best pasta shape to hold the sauce and flavors, but you can also use penne pasta, gemeli, rotini, or even medium or large shells.
Any pasta shape that acts like a vessel to hold the sauce is a great pick for this dish.
How can I add BIG flavor to this Italian Sausage Pasta dish?
My kids like this dish mild, so that's how I've created the Italian Sausage Pasta recipe. But you can easily add more spices & herbs for a punch of flavor and a little more kick.
For example, add fresh tarragon or sage for an herbaceous fall flavor or some red pepper flakes for a little spice.
How can I make this dish super cheesy?
Love cheese? Sprinkle parmesan cheese or asiago cheese on the cooked dish and place it in a 400 degree oven (middle rack) for about 7-8 minutes to melt the cheese.
What are the best gluten-free pastas?
Grain-free, dairy-free pasta like my favorite Cappello's pasta is an amazing replacement for pasta.
How do I make this pasta recipe dairy-free?
To make this Italian Sausage Pasta recipe dairy-free, you can use some of my favorite substitutions. Like this dairy-free parmesan alternative
More easy family dinner recipes
- 45 of the Best Family-Friendly 30-Minute Meals
- Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- The Best Instant Pot Chili Recipe
Easy, Hearty Rigatoni with Italian Sausage
- Large Pot for Pasta
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound Italian sausage, with casing removed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup beef broth or red wine
- 1 can (14.5 ounce can) petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 can (8 ounce can) tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
- parmesan cheese or grated non-dairy cheese optional
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and onions, and sauté for about 2 minutes, just until the onions are translucent.
- Add ground sausage to skillet and stir until fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Add beef broth or wine and scrap browned sausage bits off the bottom of the skillet.
- Add diced tomatoes (undrained, with the juices), tomato paste, and dried oregano, and stir all ingredients well. Turn heat down to low-medium and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta water to the skillet and stir all ingredients until the pasta is coated with the sauce. If needed, add more reserve water to create a sauce consistency to your liking.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle parsley, basil, and/or cheese just before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.