Remove casing from sausage and crumble it. Cook in a medium skillet until browned and no trace of pink remains, 6-7 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Cook penne as directed.
Wipe skillet clean, return to medium heat and add oil. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, herbs if desired, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are lightly brown. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced by a little more than half, about 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and some of their juice or the pasta sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add the reserved sausage and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Drain the pasta and, if desired, return it to the pot, add the sauce and return to low heat for 2-3 minutes. Pass the cheese on the side.