This spicy sausage pasta recipe is hearty, warming and delicious. It’s ready to eat in 30 minutes, making it a perfect mid week family meal!
This recipe originally came from a very old BBC Good Food magazine. It was a huge favourite with my boys when they were little and I made it at least once every couple of weeks.
I slowly tweaked the recipe over time, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that until I was told that I need to STOP tweaking the dish because it was just perfect as it was. Message received. I did as I was told!
Pasta dishes are always a huge hit in our household. If your family loves them too, you might be interested in checking out my recipes for creamy chicken fajita pasta, meatball mozzarella pasta bake and this super quick sweet chilli pasta with smoked salmon.
ingredient list for spicy sausage pasta
(keep scrolling to find printable recipe card and detailed instructions at the bottom of the post)
- Olive Oil
- Good quality pork sausages. I like to use sausages with a high meat content – the really good ones are at least 80%. The quality of the sausages really does matter here – in my experience, the cheaper sausages with a low meat content tend to turn mushy and don’t make good meatballs.
- Red or white Onion. I like to use red if I have them in purely because they are slightly sweeter, but a regular onion is just as good.
- Garlic adds depth and flavour to the sauce.
- smoked chipotle paste adds a real spicy kick to the tomato sauce. If you don’t have any, you can substitute it with 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and chilli powder.
- Tomato puree – I like the sun dried tomato puree, but the normal one will also work fine. I always fry the tomato puree for a few minutes because this seems to take away the “acid tang” tomato puree can often have.
- Dried oregano
- Tomato Passata (sieved tomatoes) OR a can of chopped tomatoes
- Chicken stock – I always use a stock cube or the little stock pots.
- Red wine vinegar – even just a small amount adds a little “pizazz” to the sauce – it just seems to liven it up a little!
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pasta shapes – I like to use Fusilli or Penne in this recipe, but tagliatelle would also be really good.
- freshly grated parmesan cheese (cheddar cheese would also be fine)
- fresh basil – optional, but I love the fresh flavour it adds to the sauce.
- I’m not keen on sausage skins, so I squeeze the sausagemeat from the skin to make little sausage meatballs.
- some of the sausage pieces will break and crumble a little depending on the type of sausages you use, but this isn’t a bad thing.
- If you fancy adding more veg, please feel free – I’ve thrown in a handful of spinach before (one minute before the end of cooking time), or you could add finely chopped celery, carrots, red bell pepper or mushrooms when cooking the onions.
can i freeze the sauce?
Yes, you can freeze the sauce for up to three months. Allow to cool completely before transferring to a suitable container or freezer bags.
- If you don’t have any chipotle chilli paste, you can substitute for 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and mild (or hot, depending on your chilli tolerance level!) chilli powder.
Prefer a creamy sauce?
To make a creamy spicy tomato sauce, stir in 100g mascarpone or full fat cream cheese just before serving. You could also use double cream, but just be careful not the boil the sauce after adding cream as it could curdle. A dairy free equivalent such as Alpro is also fine to use,
Did you make this recipe?
I really hope you loved it! Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment below or if you need any help with the recipe, please just ask. Don’t forget to rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card. Thank you!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red or brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste
- 1 tablespoon chipotle paste
- 2 teaspoons Sun dried tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 450g pack good quality pork sausages
- 400g can chopped tomatoes OR tomato passata (seived tomatoes)
- 125ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ teaspon white sugar (to reduce the acidity of the canned tomatoes)
- 450g pasta shapes (I like to use Fusilli or Penne)
- 25g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon torn basil leaves to garnish (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chopped onion and gently fry on a low to medium heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the onions are golden and translucent. Add the crushed garlic cloves and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the chipotle paste, sun dried tomato paste and the dried oregano. Cook for a further 2 minutes to release the flavours. Place a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Transfer the spiced onion and garlic to a plate. Squeeze the sausage meat out of their skins and roll in your hands to make little meatballs. Don't worry too much about them being uniform in shape. Turn the heat up a little and fry the sausages until they are golden brown and starting to go a little crispy around the edges. Some of the sausage pieces will break up into smaller pieces, but that's ok.
- Return the spiced onion mixture to the pan with the sausages. Add the chopped tomatoes or passata, chicken stock, red wine vinegar, a grinding of salt and pepper and the sugar. Pop a lid on and gently simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, by which time the sauce should have thickened slightly. In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- When the pasta is ready, drain and stir right into the pan of sausage tomato sauce, stirring well to mix. Sprinkle over the grated Parmesan cheese,sprinkle over the basil leaves if using and serve immediately.
To make a creamy spicy tomato sauce, stir in 100g mascarpone or cream cheese (or 100ml double cream) about 5 minutes before the end of cooking time. Don't boil the sauce in case the cream cheese curdles.
Good quality chicken sausages can be used instead of pork. I like the Heck brand.
Try and find the best quality sausages you can afford for this recipe - preferably ones with a high meat content (at least 80%)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 654Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1195mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 32g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.