Delicious Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce Recipe for Dinner

Are you ready for a delicious and hearty pasta sauce that will satisfy your cravings? Look no further than this Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce recipe! The combination of spicy Italian sausage with savory tomatoes, aromatic garlic and fennel seeds creates a complex and rich flavor profile that is sure to impress.

As a barista, I know the importance of creating the perfect drink or meal. Similarly, this Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce recipe requires careful attention to detail, from selecting the right ingredients to properly seasoning the sauce. But don’t let that intimidate you! With my guidance, you’ll be able to create a mouth-watering and authentic Italian dish in no time.

One of the best reasons to try out this recipe is that it offers something different from traditional pasta sauces. The addition of red wine helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes, while the fennel seeds add a unique depth of flavor. Plus, the blend of sweet and spicy Italian sausage provides protein and heartiness that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

So, if you’re ready to impress your friends and family with an authentic and delicious Italian pasta sauce, let’s get started with our ingredient list.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

This Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce Recipe is the perfect combination of flavors you’ll fall in love with. The savory flavors of juicy Italian sausage blended with the delicious and tangy taste of red wine will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. The recipe is created to cater to those looking for a unique and incredibly satisfying pasta sauce.

A major selling point of this recipe is the use of high-quality ingredients that transforms ordinary spaghetti into an extraordinary and restaurant-quality meal. The sweetness from onions and bell peppers, spiciness from the garlic, along with fennel seeds and bay leaves, delivers an unforgettable aroma that fills your kitchen while cooking.

This dish has become a staple in my household because it’s a one-pot wonder that can be made in under an hour without compromising the quality or flavor of the dish. Its versatility allows me to serve it for a family dinner or as part of an elegant dinner party menu.

Oh! And let’s talk about the benefits of Cooking with Wine! Besides adding depth to the flavor profile of recipes, wine also provides a healthy dose of antioxidants when consumed in moderation. Red wine is known to boost cardiovascular health, improve blood flow and increase good cholesterol levels, all while elevating your mood and adding that extra layer of yumminess to your pasta sauce.

Ultimately, you’ll love this recipe for its inexplicable deliciousness, simplicity, high-quality ingredients, versatility and healthy attributes. Once you try this red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe, you’ll keep coming back for more reasons than just its delicious taste.

Ingredient List

 A mouthwatering bowl of pasta coated in rich and savory red wine Italian sausage sauce.
A mouthwatering bowl of pasta coated in rich and savory red wine Italian sausage sauce.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this flavorful red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe:

  • 1 pound of Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 3/4 cup of dry red wine (such as Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Note that you can use spicy Italian sausage for a bit of heat or sweet Italian sausage for a mild flavor. Feel free to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones if they’re in season. Make sure to choose a dry red wine that you would also enjoy drinking as it will greatly impact the taste of your sauce.

The Recipe How-To

 This pasta dish is bursting with the flavors of garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and red wine.
This pasta dish is bursting with the flavors of garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and red wine.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of making this delicious Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe. Trust me – it’s easier than you think!


  • 1 pound of Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 28 ounces of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups of dry red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided


  1. First, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the Italian sausage and cook it for around six minutes until browned. Once it’s done, remove the sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a separate bowl.

  2. In the same pot or pan, add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, onion and garlic cloves. Sauté for five minutes until the onions are translucent and then add green pepper immediately.

  3. Next, add diced tomatoes (including the juice) and tomato paste. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

  4. Add bay leaves, fennel seeds and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

  5. Now it’s time to bring in the pièce de résistance – pour two cups of dry red wine into the mixture while stirring constantly to avoid burning. Don’t be afraid to use good-quality wine here; remember that this will eventually become a sauce! Allow it to simmer until reduced by half.

  6. Add back in browned Italian sausage into the pot to keep cooking on lowest heat setting for at least an additional hour.

  7. Serve over penne pasta or rigatoni pasta sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese if desired.

That’s it – you’ve just made a savory Italian sausage pasta sauce with red wine! See how easy that was?

Tip: If you find that your sauce is too thick after simmering for some time, feel free to add some water.

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect dinner for any occasion to impress your loved ones or guests.
The perfect dinner for any occasion to impress your loved ones or guests.

For those looking to switch things up, there are several substitutions and variations to this red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe that you can try out. Here are just a few ideas:

– Sausage: While we recommend using spicy Italian sausage for this recipe, you can certainly use another type of sausage instead. Whether it’s savory Italian or sweet Italian sausage, pork sausages, or even ground beef or chicken, the choice is yours. Simply customize your protein based on your personal taste preference.

– Tomatoes: For the tomatoes in this recipe, we suggest using canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. However, you can switch it up by using fresh tomatoes instead if they’re in season. Just be sure to peel and chop them first before adding them to the sauce.

– Wine: If you’re not a fan of red wine, you can substitute it with white wine instead. Dry white wine works best for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with other types of white wine as well.

– Vegetables: While we use onions and green peppers in our recipe, you can add other vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or even cannellini beans for added texture and flavor.

– Pasta: While we love penne pasta for this dish, feel free to switch it up with rigatoni, spaghetti or your favorite pasta shape. You could also try making it with mushroom pasta or gluten-free pasta if you prefer.

No matter what substitutions or variations you make to this recipe, just be sure to follow the cooking instructions closely to ensure that your sauce turns out delicious every time.

Serving and Pairing

 Simple ingredients with maximum flavor, this sauce is made with sweet Italian sausage, crushed tomatoes and red wine.
Simple ingredients with maximum flavor, this sauce is made with sweet Italian sausage, crushed tomatoes and red wine.

There’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce, rich in flavor and packed with savory goodness. For the perfect accompaniment to this mouth-watering meal, opt for a well-rounded red wine that complements the bold flavors of the sauce.

When it comes to choosing a wine pairing for this dish, it’s all about finding balance. The bold flavors of the sausage and tomatoes call for a red wine that can hold its own. Look for a dry red wine that has plenty of tannins and body, such as a Chianti Classico or a Syrah. These wines have enough structure to stand up to the robust sauce, while still offering enough acidity to cut through the richness.

If you prefer a lighter-bodied red, reach for a Pinot Noir or Barbera d’Asti that is fruity and acidic, bringing out the sweetness in the tomatoes without overshadowing the main event.

When it comes to serving this pasta sauce, keep things simple. Pair it with your favorite pasta shape such as penne or rigatoni; they’re great at holding onto the sauce. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil for an added touch of flavor.

If you’re looking to add some greens to your meal, toss in some sautéed bell peppers or green beans. Or if you’re feeling indulgent, go all out with cheesy garlic bread on the side.

Serving portions can vary based on personal preferences but as a rule of thumb serve out two ladles of sauce per person or customize your portion by adding cannellini beans or mushrooms.

This luxurious and comforting pasta sauce pairs perfectly with both formal sit-down dinners and casual family nights in. With just a few simple ingredients and some clever wine pairing tips, you’ll be whipping up impressive dinners effortlessly in no time!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty Italian sausage pasta sauce that will warm you up from the inside.
A hearty Italian sausage pasta sauce that will warm you up from the inside.

When it comes to making-ahead and storing this red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe, there are a few things you should consider. First of all, this sauce will actually taste better the next day, as the flavors have had more time to meld together.

If you’re planning to make the sauce ahead of time, I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, simply warm it up on the stove over low heat. You may want to add some extra water or tomato sauce to thin it out a bit, as the sauce will thicken as it sits in the fridge.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it can also be frozen for later use. To freeze, simply let the sauce cool to room temperature and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the fridge and then reheat on the stove over low heat.

If you have leftover pasta with sauce, be sure to store them separately. Pasta has a tendency to soak up sauce while sitting, which can make it dry and unappetizing when reheated. Instead, store your pasta and sauce separately and reheat them together when you’re ready to eat.

Overall, this red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe is a great option for those who like to meal prep or have leftovers they want to save for later. It’s easy to make in advance and stores well both in the fridge and freezer.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A satisfyingly delicious plate of pasta with a comforting aroma and bold flavors.
A satisfyingly delicious plate of pasta with a comforting aroma and bold flavors.

When it comes to making a delicious Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce, paying attention to a few key details can make all the difference in achieving that perfect taste and texture. Here are some tips for ensuring success with this recipe:

First and foremost, be sure to use high-quality ingredients. Fresh, ripe tomatoes, sweet onions, and flavorful Italian sausage are essential components of this sauce. Use kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to season the sauce, along with fennel seeds and bay leaves – these ingredients give the sauce its distinctive flavor.

When preparing the sausage, remove the casings and cut it into small pieces to ensure that it cooks evenly throughout the sauce. Browning the sausage before adding it to the sauce will also help to enhance its flavor.

It’s also important to use the right type of pasta for this dish. Penne or rigatoni are great choices, as their shape allows them to hold onto the sauce well. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions, then toss it with the finished sauce just before serving.

Finally, let the sauce simmer for at least an hour. This will allow all of the flavors to meld together and create a rich, savory sauce that is perfect for pairing with your favorite pasta.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce that is sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy!


As a barista, I’ve come to understand that no recipe is complete without addressing any questions or concerns that may arise. That’s why I want to take some time to answer frequently asked questions about making this delicious Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce Recipe. So, in this portion of the article, I’ll be answering some common questions to ensure you get the best results when creating this dish!

What does adding red wine to pasta sauce do?

One interesting fact about wine is that its alcohol content can positively impact the flavor of sauces. By interacting with the ingredients, the alcohol helps to unlock and enhance their individual tastes, resulting in a more flavorful dish. Additionally, the fats present in ingredients like meat can be broken down by the alcohol in wine, allowing for even more complex and nuanced flavors to be released. This is just another example of how using the right ingredients can take a dish from good to great.

Do you cook Italian sausage before putting it in sauce?

When crafting a rich and savory pasta sauce, incorporating raw ground meatballs, Italian sausage, pork, or ox tail directly into the sauce is possible, as long as you cook the sauce for a sufficient amount of time to properly cook the meat. This can infuse the sauce with added flavor and texture, creating a delicious and hearty combination that is sure to please any palate.

What red wine goes best with Italian sausage?

If you want to experience the full Italian flavor in your pairing, then you must opt for the Tuscan Chianti. It’s a perfect match for sweet sausages that incorporate traditional Italian ingredients. The tart and spicy notes of Chianti harmonize perfectly with the boldness of Italian sausage.

What red wine goes best with sausage pasta?

Pairing the right type of wine with your pasta dish can truly elevate the dining experience. If you’re indulging in a tomato-based sauce, opt for a crisp and dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio. Alternatively, a light Sicilian red can also complement the dish well. But, when it comes to meat-based pastas like bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs or sausage, you’ll want to go for a robust Zinfandel to balance the hearty flavors of the dish and enhance its richness. So, select your wine wisely to create a harmonious pair with your delicious pasta creation.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves a delicious and hearty pasta dish. With its combination of savory Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, and tangy tomato sauce, this pasta recipe will leave your taste buds begging for more. Plus, the addition of red wine adds a depth of flavor that takes the sauce to the next level.

Not only is this recipe flavorful and satisfying, but it’s also relatively easy to prepare, making it perfect for weeknight dinners or weekend gatherings with friends and family. And with the flexibility to make substitutions or variations based on personal preference, you can easily adapt this recipe to suit your needs.

Overall, I highly recommend giving this red wine Italian sausage pasta sauce recipe a try. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a newbie in the kitchen, this dish is sure to impress and become a regular addition to your meal lineup. So go ahead – pour yourself a glass of red wine, roll up your sleeves, and get cooking!

Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

Red Wine Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce Recipe

I grew up in an Italian household with my Grandfather (Carl D'andrea), teaching me from early childhood, his family recipe for 'basic tomato sauce' or marinara (not written down, completely from memory). I know this recipe like the back of my hand, and when I recently found myself with leftover italian sausages, peppers, and onions from italian sausage sandwiches the night before - I decided to 'get creative' with my grandfathers marinara recipe in combination. Awesome flavor, very good over pasta -- enjoy, & as my Grandpa used to say, 'Mangia!' (which means 'EAT' in Italian)...
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Easy, European, Inexpensive, Meat, Onions, Pork, Vegetable
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Calories: 281.7kcal


  • 28 ounces tomato sauce (use a good sauce such as Furmano's)
  • 3/4 cup onions, chopped fine or 1 small onion
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves, chopped or 2 -3 tablespoons store bought minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium size tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 -4 Italian sausages, pre-cooked and chopped in food processor (sweet or hot, your preference)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (a good one that you will drink)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 -3 bay leaves
  • 2 -3 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley, thyme mixture)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch sugar


  • In a large non-stick skillet with a lid, add the olive oil and warm over medium heat, allow oil to heat for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add chopped onion and green pepper, cook for about 2-3 minutes or until onion is soft and you can see thru it, stir for even cooking.
  • Add chopped/minced garlic, stir and continue to simmer thru for another 2 minutes.
  • Add dry seasonings, chopped tomato, and chopped Italian sausage. Stir all and cook for another 2 minutes then add the ¼-cup dry red wine and stir all together.
  • Add fennel seed & black pepper, cook another 2 minutes longer.
  • Next, add the tomato sauce and water, bay leaves, salt and sugar, stir all and cover with lid, allow to cook on medium until mixture begins to slow boil, then remove lid. Stir again, cover and turn heat to a low simmer, allowing to cook for several hours or until ready to serve with pasta.
  • Allowing sauce to slow cook for at least 2-3 hours makes for a more robust sauce ~ serve with al dente pasta, a good crusty Italian bread (ciabatta for example), freshly grated Italian cheese (a good quality aged Pecorino Romano made from sheeps or goats milk is best, never cows milk), & your favorite red wine (our favorite is a good cabernet).
  • Sauce is also better the next day, so as a time saver make this sauce up a day ahead, allow to cool thoroughly before refrigerating, then serve the next night for dinner.

Your own notes


Serving: 209g | Calories: 281.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.4g | Protein: 10.4g | Fat: 20.8g | Saturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 23.7mg | Sodium: 1276.8mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 7.8g

Recommended Recipes Just For You