Tasty Italian Sausage Recipe with Tangy Tomato Sauce

Are you looking for a meal that screams “comfort food” and satisfies even the largest appetites? Look no further than my Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu recipe. This savory meat sauce, also known as a ragù, is made with sweet Italian sausage links, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and dry red wine. It’s the perfect hearty dish for any occasion, from a weeknight family dinner to a special gathering with friends.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and requires only a handful of ingredients. And best of all, it’s versatile – you can serve it over pasta or even use it as a pizza topping.

So why not whip up a batch of this Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu tonight? Your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu
Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu

Let me tell you something, my dear foodie friend – this Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu recipe is an absolute game-changer! I mean, just imagine the juicy,

Ingredient List

Get Ready for Bold and Flavorful Ingredients

When I’m talking about this Sausage Ragu recipe, one thing is clear, sausages will be the star of the show. With sweet Italian sausage links, you’ll create an enjoyable and flavorful meat sauce that’s perfect for pasta, gnocchi or whatever carbohydrate of your choice.

To achieve the perfect bold taste for the sausage sauce, you’ll have garlic to bring a tangy, earthy flavor and yellow onion to promote sweetness. This recipe requires plenty of tomato sauce for a thick and savory taste with sun-dried tomato notes.

You can also bring a depth of umami flavor using soy sauce, which will mix well in the beef-pork mix (Italian sausage) and balance out all flavors. The combination will go great with a dry red wine such as Chianti, so make sure to include it in your grocery list.

To get started with this delicious meal that serves 4-6 people as the main course, grab the following ingredients in bold:

  • 1 lb of sweet Italian Sausage (4 to 6 links)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

The Recipe How-To

Now, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get cooking. This recipe for Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu is a labor of love that requires some patience but promises to deliver rich flavors and hearty satisfaction.


Before we begin, let’s assemble the necessary ingredients:

  • 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage links
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅔ cup of dry red wine
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce (or tomato puree for a thicker sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. In a deep skillet or a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the Italian sausages and cook for about 10 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add diced onions and minced garlic to the remaining oil and cook them over medium heat until softened and fragrant. Add red pepper flakes to add some heat to the sauce.
  3. Next, pour in red wine to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the pan’s bottom to deglaze it.
  4. After the wine has been reduced by half, add the tomato sauce (or puree), soy sauce, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir everything together.
  5. Place cooked Italian sausage back into the pot with tomato sauce mixture. Reduce heat and allow everything simmer over low heat with lid set slightly ajar on top of pot until thickened about thirty minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. After thirty minutes, remove from heat and let it cool down for five minutes before serving with pappardelle pasta or as a meaty addition for other pasta dishes such as spaghetti or cavatelli pasta.

Cooking Tips

  • If you can’t find sweet Italian sausage links, you can also use bulk sausage meat or spicy Italian sausage instead.
  • For an even richer flavor, you can pair this ragu with gnocchi or fennel sausage pasta.
  • Make sure that your skillet or Dutch oven is deep enough to accommodate both sausages and sauce without spilling over.
  • To save time during cooking, you can make this in advance in slow-cooker as well.

With these detailed steps at your fingertips and using high-quality ingredients, you’ll be able to prepare an authentic Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu that will please everyone at your table!

Substitutions and Variations

Now, for those of you that like to switch things up or adapt recipes to your own liking, here are some substitutions and variations to try on this Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu recipe.

First up, let’s talk sausage. While sweet Italian sausage links are the star of the show in this recipe, you can certainly experiment with different types of sausage. Want a little kick? Try swapping in some hot or spicy Italian sausage with the same measurements. Craving a meatier sauce? Use a combination of beef and pork sausages instead of just the Italian sausage. And for those who prefer a vegetarian option, you can make this sauce meatless by using soy-based sausages instead.

Next, if you’re not a fan of red pepper flakes but still want some heat, you can swap them out for fresh or dried chili peppers. Adjust the amount according to your preference.

For those cutting back on alcohol or simply don’t want to cook with it, you can substitute the dry red wine for beef broth or even tomato juice. Keep in mind that this will change the flavor profile slightly.

Looking for more depth to your sauce? Add in some sun-dried tomatoes or a tablespoon of tomato paste along with the tomato sauce and puree.

Lastly, serving options are endless. While this ragu recipe pairs beautifully with pappardelle pasta or gnocchi, you can also serve it over spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, or your favorite grain-free alternative. Feeling adventurous? Use it as a topping for pizza instead of traditional tomato sauce!

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own by trying out some of these substitutions and variations. It’s all about discovering what tastes best to you!

Serving and Pairing

The Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu Recipe is a mouth-watering and hearty dish that pairs perfectly with various side dishes to make a complete meal. This rich and flavorful sauce-based dish is best served over pasta, such as spaghetti, pappardelle, or cavatelli pasta.

For a more casual meal, you can serve this ragu with gnocchi or even on top of polenta. The creamy texture of the gnocchi complements the rich tomato sauce and the meaty sausage perfectly. Additionally, serving this hearty dish over polenta will add an extra layer of comfort to your meal.

To give your Italian sausage ragu recipe some freshness, you can also pair it with a fresh green salad on the side. I recommend choosing a mix of leaves and adding some cucumber or tomatoes to add some crunch and tangy flavors that contrast well with the rich meat-based sauce.

If you feel like indulging in some extra comfort foods, try pairing your sausage ragu with some garlic bread on the side to soak up all the delicious sauce. You can even add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top for an extra burst of flavor.

Lastly, if you’re hosting a dinner party, you can serve this savory ragu with a nice bottle of dry red wine such as Chianti or Montepulciano. The boldness and tannins in these types of wines complement well with the richness of the dish while cleansing your palate between bites.

In conclusion, the Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu recipe is versatile when it comes to serving and pairing options; be creative! Perfect for a comforting family dinner or for entertaining guests, its unique spicy and sweet blend promises to delight everyone’s senses.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

So you’ve just whipped up a batch of mouth-watering Italian sausage ragu, but you don’t plan on serving it immediately. Fear not, my friends! This recipe allows for plenty of options when it comes to make-ahead, storing, and reheating.

If you’re planning on serving your sausage ragu within a day or two, simply allow it to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The flavors will only deepen and intensify as the ingredients meld together. Just remember to reheat it gently over low heat, stirring occasionally so that none of the delicious meat sauce sticks to the bottom of the pot.

For those of you who like to meal prep, it’s no secret that this sausage ragu is a great option. Cook up a batch ahead of time and store it in individual portions in the freezer for quick and easy weeknight meals. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply remove from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, reheat it slowly on the stove or in the microwave and pair with your favorite pasta or veggies.

Pro tip: If you’re planning on making a big batch of sausage ragu to freeze, consider dividing it up into smaller portions to allow for quicker thawing and reheating.

One thing to keep in mind when reheating this Italian meat-based sauce is that it can dry out easily if left on too high of heat or too long. To prevent this, add a splash of water or broth while reheating to keep things nice and saucy.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or simply trying to get ahead on food prep, this sausage ragu recipe is sure to please. And with its versatile storage and reheating options, you can enjoy it again and again without sacrificing any of that rich and savory flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

Cooking Italian sausage in tomato ragu might seem like a simple task, but it requires careful attention to detail to achieve the perfect result. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your sausage ragu recipe.

1. Use quality ingredients.

The quality of your ingredients will always determine the flavor of your dish. Therefore, ensure you’re using fresh onions, garlic, and parsley while preparing this recipe. Try making your own tomato sauce instead of using canned tomato puree for a more authentic taste.

2. Choose the right type of sausage.

Sweet Italian sausage links work best in this recipe. The spices in the sausage complement the flavors in the tomato ragu, giving you a rich and flavorful dish.

3. Let the sauce simmer slowly.

Letting your sauce cook down for an extended period allows all flavors to meld together perfectly. Resist the urge to rush and increase heat to reduce cooking time as this can burn the sauce, ruining its taste.

4. Add some sweetness.

A pinch of sugar adds additional depth and balance to the acidic flavor of tomatoes. Season with some sweetness by adding one tablespoon sugar or honey after tasting.

5. Play around with additional spices.

Although this recipe is already perfectly seasoned, you can add or reduce heat by using spices according to your preference. Add some red pepper flakes for a spicy twist, fennel seed or rosemary for an extra aroma.

6. Don’t overcrowd the pan when browning meat.

When browning sausages and other meats included in this recipe, avoid filling up your pan with too many pieces at once as they will steam instead of searing properly.

7. Allow resting time.

Once done simmering, remove from heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving it over pasta or other sides for even more delightful flavors.

By following these tips, you’ll enjoy a fantastic sausage ragu every single time you prepare it in your kitchen.


As a helpful assistant, I understand that you may have some questions about this recipe for Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu. To ensure that you can make this dish with confidence and ease, I have compiled some frequently asked questions and their respective answers. So let’s dive in and address any doubts that may arise!

Do you cook Italian sausage before putting it in sauce?

When preparing a sauce that requires meat in it, such as ground meatballs, Italian sausage, pork, or ox tail, it is possible to add the meat directly into the sauce while it’s still raw, as long as the sauce is cooked long enough for the meat to fully cook through. This can save time and effort when cooking, as it eliminates the need to brown the meat first before adding it into the sauce.

How do I make ragù more flavorful?

For those wanting to enhance the deliciousness of their Ragù Bolognese recipe, consider adding fresh parsley towards the end of cooking for an added dimension of herbal flavor. However, be cautious when adding fresh sage at this stage as it may overpower the other flavors. Another tip is to sprinkle some grated Parmesan into the sauce, not only does it add an umami taste but also helps bind the ingredients together.

Which are the 4 kinds of meat that goes into ragù sauce?

If you’ve ever enjoyed a hearty pasta dish with a rich and savory sauce, chances are you’ve come across ragù. This delicious meat-based sauce is famous for its flavorful and tender chunks of beef, pork, game, or even horse that are slow-cooked in a braising liquid made with tomatoes or wine. The cooking process takes quite a bit of time, but the end result is a mouth-watering sauce that’s worth the wait.

What is the difference between ragù and Bolognese?

When it comes to Italian cuisine, it’s important to understand the difference between “Ragù” and “Bolognese” sauces. While both are meat-based sauces, they have distinct characteristics. Ragù is a thick, hearty sauce made with ground meat, vegetables, wine, and a hint of tomato. On the other hand, Bolognese sauce is a regional variation of Ragù that originates from Bologna and typically includes a blend of ground meat, vegetables, wine, and tomato sauce.

Bottom Line

all, it’s clear that this Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu Recipe is a must-have in your recipe arsenal. The combination of savory Italian sausage, fragrant garlic and onion, and rich tomato sauce is sure to please any palate.

With countless variations and substitutions available, this recipe can be tailored to fit any taste or dietary requirement. And with easy storage and reheating options, you can enjoy this dish any time for a quick and satisfying meal.

So, whether you’re a fan of traditional pasta dishes or looking to try something new and flavorful, give this Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu Recipe a try. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu

Italian Sausage in Tomato Ragu Recipe

This is a favorite of my father who would grow tomatos in the garden and have a huge harvest at the end of the summer. He would cook pots and pots of tomato sauce that he would freeze and we would eat all winter. Some years had more red pepper than others. One of his great desires was simmering sweet italian sausage in a tomato ragu. Great on a cool fall or winter day while watching football.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Easy, European, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Pork
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 540.7kcal


  • 6 sweet Italian sausage links
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Brown the sausages in a large saute pan until good and brown on each side. Remove sausage and put on a plate to catch juices.
  • Drain any excess fat from the pan, do not clean pan, keep the bits on the bottom.
  • Slice your onion and cook over medium heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic to the onions during the last few minutes of cooking, be careful not to burn your garlic.
  • Add wine to pan to deglaze.
  • Add tomato sauce, chicken stock and soy sauce.
  • Cut the sausage into 1/2 inch slices and add back into the pan.
  • Chop parsley and add to the pan with red pepper flakes.
  • Cook until gravy thickens for about 15 - 20 minutes.

Your own notes


Serving: 408g | Calories: 540.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.4g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 35.2g | Saturated Fat: 12.3g | Cholesterol: 72.7mg | Sodium: 3205.4mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 9.2g

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