Italian Pasta and Sausage Dinner

"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."
photo by Tread photo by Tread
photo by Tread
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Outta Here photo by Outta Here
photo by flower7 photo by flower7
photo by loof751 photo by loof751
Ready In:




  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • 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.
  • Stir in basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper heat another one to two minutes.
  • Lower heat while adding tomato sauce and ricotta, stir while heating so ricotta blends evenly and does not burn.
  • Mix pasta and sauce together. Sever with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a green salad.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Tread
    Simple, quick, easy and tasty. Made a great weeknight dinner for the family and a couple of unexpected guests.
  2. NorthwestGal
    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.
  3. CJAY8248
    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.
  4. flower7
    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.<br/>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!
  5. Rita1652
    Very tasty loaded with flavor! I did up double the sausage because DH would have not enjoyed so little in the meal. The sausage was very lean so there was very little fat I did have to add some olive oil to saute the onions and garlic. Red bell peppers would be nice in this. I did use 2 tablespoons fresh basil in place of the dried. Love the fresh taste of basil. More tomato sauce would have been good. I didn't use any salt for the sausage and cheeses have enough sodium. This was like more 2-3 servings. My DH could have eaten the whole thing. I did use 8 ounces of pasta. Used habanero flakes giving it more of a kick. Wasn't crazy about the appearance looked a bit curdled. Also added some of the pasta water for more of a sauce then a coating. Thanks for your RSC recipe. :)


  1. Tread
    I added a red bell pepper with the onions. Also the sauce thickened up on me so I used a can of V8 to loosen it back up a bit, worked out fine. I also used a hand full of fresh basil from the garden instead of dried, I added it just before the ricotta.



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