One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta

Blessings on your kitchen! This One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta is a family pleaser and a beautiful gift to whomever has dish duty the night that you make it.

One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta

I do love Italian food. I love the herbs and spices, the wonderful sauces, the cheeses, the flavorful meats, the crusty breads and, of course, the pasta. Italian food seems so fresh and vibrant and alive. And now, because of this One-Skillet Italian Sausage and Pasta, I love that I can have a crowd-pleasing dinner on the table in under an hour.


Hey! This is a great place to remind you that you have until tomorrow night (2-19-2015) at 11:59 pm to enter the GIVEAWAY for The Flavor Bible! Click here, girls and boys, to enter. All you have to do is to leave a comment on the Flavor Bible post telling us your favorite dinner (aka supper).


 

One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta

Evolution of a Recipe

In truth, when I first started thinking about this recipe adventure, I was a bit intimidated by the concept of a “one-pot” dinner involving pasta. I wasn’t confident that it would work out well. To further my feelings of intimidation, I have had a series of recipe failures in the past few weeks. I’ll think that I have an idea that can’t possibly fail and then, kerflooey.

Sometimes a recipe fails because I don’t really know what I am doing. Other times a recipe fails because I have messed with it too much. Take the first version of this now excellent pasta dinner. Things were going well until, dunh-dunh-dunh, I added cream to the recipe. It was just too much of a good thing. I knew it would be, but I did it anyway because, well, I don’t know why. Que no era una buena idea.

The resulting dish was incredibly rich and filling. Three bites into the meal I had to push my plate away. Three bites and dinner was over. If I was busy at work, three-bites-and-I’m-full would be great on busy days, but typically at home, I want my dinner to last longer than 49 seconds.

Luckily, the second time around this one-dish pasta meal turned out beautimous — rich and hearty, super easy to make and it only took one pan. Actually, I used a ceramic coated cast iron braiser and it worked very well.

One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta--Hearty and very flavorful main course cooked all in one skillet!--Italian sausage, crimini mushrooms, marinara, Italian herbs, pasta, Parmesan and mozzarella.

Ingredient Mash-Up

One of the fun outcomes from this project was finding a new favorite pasta shape, campanelle torchietti. Campanelle Torchietti looks like calla lillies or maybe like a trumpet or, duh, like a torch. It holds up well with the robust sauce in this dish, offering just the right amount of pasta vs. sauce vs. meat in each bite. (2/19/2015 — For some reason when I was writing this post I had campanelle pasta on my mind, but it was actually torchietti shaped pasta that I used in this recipe. Torchietti is my new favorite. 🙂 )

I broke with my usual litany of Italian herbs and seasonings in the sauce and opted for a ready-mixed Italian herb blend. I really like The Spice Hunter® brand of herbs and spices and the same holds true for their herb and spice blends. No, I am not being paid to promote The Spice Hunter®; I am merely passing along a bit of helpful information. Friends help friends succeed in the kitchen.

As for the sausage, I used spicy Italian sausage. It was very flavorful, but I think that the next time around I will go with a milder Italian sausage. Whew! Mama mia, that was some kind of spicy!

For the tomatoes, be sure to use Italian plum tomatoes, especially if you can find canned San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano is a variety of tomato, NOT a brand of canned tomatoes. They are meaty and very flavorful when cooked. Read the notes in the recipe for more information regarding using whole Italian plum tomatoes for this recipe.

One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta--Hearty and very flavorful main course cooked all in one skillet!--Italian sausage, crimini mushrooms, marinara, Italian herbs, pasta, Parmesan and mozzarella.

Print green and blue-1One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta


Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 40 minutes  |  Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings

With the best of Italian flavors, this easy one-dish meal is hearty and filling. From browning the sausage to cooking the pasta, the entire dish is completed in under an hour.


 One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta--Hearty and very flavorful main course cooked all in one skillet!--Italian sausage, crimini mushrooms, marinara, Italian herbs, pasta, Parmesan and mozzarella.Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, mild or spicy, casings removed if applicable
  • 1 large onion, medium diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly across clove
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used The Spice Hunter®)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Italian plum tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces pasta — torchietti, penne, ziti or rigatoni recommended
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella
  • small handful of torn, fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Special Equipment: 5 1/2 quart braiser OR large skillet with lid

Instructions

  1. Heat braiser or skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, then sausage. Cook sausage for 3 minutes, breaking up while cooking.
  2. Lower heat to medium low. Add onion and mushrooms; cooking and stirring for one minute. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning. Cover skillet and continue to cook until onion is translucent. Stir periodically.
  3. Crush tomatoes well by hand or with a potato masher (watch out, the tomatoes will squirt when crushed). An immersion blender can also be used to break up tomatoes; simply pulse it a few times. Add tomatoes and juice to ingredients in pan. Stir to combine. Add chicken stock (or broth) and salt. Stir well.
  4. Raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. Add pasta; stir well. Cover skillet and cook until pasta is almost al dente, stirring frequently to keep pasta from sticking to bottom of skillet or clumping together.
  5. Turn off heat and remove pan from burner. Gently stir in grated Parmesan until melted. Scatter mozzarella evenly over top. Place lid over skillet and allow mozzarella to melt, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with torn basil leaves and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Except for initially cooking the sausage, only cook this meal over medium or medium low heat. Cooking over higher heat will cause the ingredients to stick to the bottom of the pan and/or burn.
  • Using whole tomatoes: It may seem counter intuitive to use whole Italian tomatoes and then crush them. There are several advantages in doing this:
    • Italian plum tomatoes are more flavorful. The best Italian plum tomatoes are San Marzano. San Marzano is a variety of tomato, not a brand of tomato;
    • You get to control the texture of the crushed tomatoes.
    • There is more juice in the can of whole tomatoes which is needed in this particular recipe. The texture and amount of liquid is often unpredictable in canned, crushed tomatoes — sometimes looking more like a thick tomato sauce and other times it can be thin and watery with a low amount of actual tomato. Additionally, with the canned crushed tomatoes, the tomatoes are often not the more flavorful Italian plum variety.

Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley


Did you enter the giveaway yet for The Flavor Bible????? It’s a great book for helping you to make wise flavor choices when you decide to “tweak” one of my recipes. 🙂


 

One-Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta

You may also want to inhale these favorites:

Creamy Mushroom Chicken Over Linguine
Creamy Mushroom Chicken Over Linguine
Baked Spaghetti
Baked Spaghetti
Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

 

Comments

  1. Carol says

    OK so I’m sitting here with my cup of coffee left from breakfast and am craving pasta. That looks AMAZING Terri. I think I have everything for it here too-well, not the campanelle but I have plenty of ziti and rigatoni. Gotta check on the tomatoes…that may throw me. If so I’ll add them to the list for the next grocery trip. We would LOVE this.

    I had to laugh at your comment on the spicy sausage…it reminded me of the guy in the old Alka-Seltzer commercial that moaned about the “spicy meat-a-ball”….some of those hot sausages really pack a wallop.

    Since I’m chief cook and bottle washer here, I’m ALL ABOUT a one pan meal-can’t wait to try this. 🙂

    • says

      Carol, I was thinking about that same commercial, but could only remember the tag line. I kept trying to remember what the product was that was being advertised. My cousins and I used to go around saying, “Mama mia, that’sa spicy meat ball-a” and then we’d laugh ourselves silly. I have just now looked up the commercial on You Tube, so here is the URL for it in case you want to review the good ol’ days.

      • Carol says

        Terri, you just made my day! That commercial brought back SO many happy memories of my Italian Nana who lived with us. She spoke VERY broken English and this commercial would make her laugh and laugh. She’d smile at the guy and hold out her hand and shake it as only a Nana can do and echo his “MAMA MIA” every time.

        And I had to peek at the other classic Alka Seltzer commercial…..”I can’t believe I ate the WHOOOOLE THING”…..

        Thanks for the walk down memory lane-those sure WERE some good ol’ days. 🙂

  2. says

    I think the translation for campanelle is “bell”, but whatever it is, I could eat it all!!! Oh how I love pasta. We’ve been on a low carb thing for a long time so I almost never get to enjoy pasta, but I’m pinning this one for sure. Lovely, drool-worthy photos!!

    • says

      You’re right, Patricia, the translation is bell. I think that it refers to bell-shaped flowers. I forgot that you have Italian roots, so you have an “in” with all things Italian. 🙂 The pictures that I saw on the internet showed a frillier pasta shape than the one I bought from my local store. Mine is the same general shape, just without the ruffles. By the way, thanks for the pin!

  3. Dalila G. says

    I have not really had much success with creams in any of my pasta dishes.
    I follow instructions to the letter on them, which is odd for me.
    I like to switch things up sometimes, just a slight little tweak now and again. 😉
    But, chaos is the final result for me! LOL!!
    I’ll just keep trying until I get them right.

    This dish looks tasty and it’s just made in one pan so double-good for me.
    I’m the one and only kitchen help here, the easier and simpler the dish is to cook and then clean-up afterwards, well, that’s just OK with me. 😀

    I will be on the lookout for different pastas, I do like to try different shapes in my food preparations. Your ideas of the pasta are on my list when its time to hit the grocers.
    Thanks Terri!
    Pinned!

    • says

      Thanks for the Pin, Dalila. As for making this dish in one pan, it was really fun to look around the kitchen and see so little to have to clean up from this meal. I kept thinking that I must be missing something because usually I have managed to use every dish in the house to make dinner. 🙂

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