Italian Pasta and Sausage Dinner

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

The ricotta adds a nice thick creamy backdrop to the hot sausage and spices with the cavatappi bring it all together. If you cannot get cavatappi elbow macaroni makes a good substitute.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a medium pan crumb and cook sausage about 6 minutes; drain off grease and add chopped onion and garlic sautéing another 6 minutes or so till onion is tender.
  3. Stir in basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper heat another one to two minutes.
  4. Lower heat while adding tomato sauce and ricotta, stir while heating so ricotta blends evenly and does not burn.
  5. Mix pasta and sauce together. Sever with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a green salad.
Most Helpful

This was a nice mid-week dinner that was quick to make (i.e, no additional step of baking that most similar recipes require), and it made a lot. We even had sufficient leftovers for a quick lunch the next day. But it lacked any real punch to "wow" my family. The Italian Sausage I buy has sufficient seasoning, so I went a little light on the basil and oregano. But I think the plain tomato sauce needed a little boost. If I made this again, I would probably omit the ricotta and instead would work on perfecting the tomato-based sauce. Perhaps adding garlic (along with the basil and oregano) and using sun-dried or fire-roasted tomatoes I think would be better complements to the hot Italian sausage. Good luck with RSC #16, chef.

NorthwestGal May 31, 2011

I cut this in half for 2 servings. I followed it as written. I thought it had too much ricotta for the amount of tomato sauce. It tasted gritty and the sauce was pink. I think more sauce and less pasta would make for a better looking and tastier recipe. Thanks for sharing. Made for RSC #16.

CJAY May 28, 2011

This was good but didn't blow me away - it seemed to be missing something for my taste. When reheating the leftovers I added some sour cream and that seemed to help a bit.
I couldn't get hot Italian sausage except in links in a huge package so used mild (which I could get uncased in a 1 lb pkg) and added 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper while browning the meat (in addition to the 1/4 tsp added later). The only change I made to the recipe as written (besides what I just mentioned) was to use 8 oz instead of 6 oz of the sausage (due to the pkg size - the other half went to another recipe). If I were to make it again, I might use cream cheese instead of ricotta for the slight tang it would add. Thanks for sharing your creation and good luck in the contest!

flower7 May 28, 2011