Delicious Sweet Italian Sausage Recipe With Red Gravy

Are you tired of the same old pasta recipes? Do you crave a hearty, flavorful meal that will satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling full and content? Look no further than this Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta recipe!

This classic Italian dish is sure to become a staple in your home-cooking repertoire. The combination of juicy sausages, tangy tomato sauce, and al dente pasta makes for an irresistible meal that is both indulgent and comforting.

Whether you’re cooking for family or entertaining guests, this dish is sure to impress. The rich flavors and textures will transport your taste buds to Italy, leaving everyone asking for seconds.

With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is perfect for even beginner cooks. So why settle for bland meals when you can elevate your dining experience with this delicious Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta recipe?

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta
Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta

Like a thunderbolt out of the blue, I believe this recipe for Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta might be the best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth. Whether you’re into spicy food or prefer something mild, this recipe has got your back.

Firstly, let’s talk about the sausage. Oh, boy – this sweet Italian sausage is one for the books. It’s the perfect balance of savory and sweet, combined with an irresistibly juicy texture that will have you reaching for seconds (or thirds). Plus, when it’s cooked together with the aromatic onion and garlic in olive oil, it smells like heaven on earth.

But that’s not all – once the tomato sauce is added to the mix along with a touch of parsley flakes and dried basil, it becomes a delicious red gravy with just the right balance of sweet and tangy flavors. Pour this over a bowl of al dente pasta (penne or rigatoni are excellent choices) along with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for an unforgettable meal.

And if you thought this couldn’t get any better, think again. This dish is incredibly versatile- you can easily swap out the sweet Italian sausage for spicy or mild Italian sausage, depending on your preference. Or, try adding in some diced bell peppers or crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

Trust me – once you taste this Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta recipe, every other pasta dish will pale in comparison. Give it a try and thank me later.

Ingredient List

Essential Ingredients

To make this Sweet Italian Sausage with Red Gravy and Pasta recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage links (you can use hot Italian sausage if you prefer a spicier flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes with onion, garlic, and basil
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients

If you’d like to add a creamier element to the red gravy, try one of these optional ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream for a rich and creamy tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces cream cheese for a tangy and slightly sweet sauce

Note: You can also substitute the pasta for your favorite type or shape, such as pappardelle, penne, or rigatoni.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Preparing the ingredients

Before starting the recipe, it is important to prepare all the ingredients. Begin with one medium diced onion, four celery ribs chopped and eight cloves of garlic finely chopped.

Next, in a mixing bowl add two cans of diced tomatoes with onion garlic and basil, one can of tomato sauce, one can of tomato paste, two cups of water and two tablespoons olive oil. Mix this all together so that everything has a chance to blend.

Finally, take two pounds of sweet Italian sausage removed from casings and crumbled into small pieces for the cooking process later on.

Step 2: Cooking Process

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned thoroughly, approximately 5-7 minutes. Once done, use a slotted spoon to transfer sausage meat onto a plate.

Add more oil to the same skillet and sauté the onion, celery, and garlic until soft for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some dried basil, some parsley flakes, and some salt to taste over it. After this, pour in the prepared tomato mixture and stir well.

Add some sugar and black pepper according to your taste preference as well as a dash of red pepper flakes to spice it up.

Once mixed well, add back in your sausage meat to allow it to simmer in with other ingredients for around an hour or until the sauce thickens slightly. While waiting for that to go down put on a big pot of water for some pasta.

Once that comes to boil sprinkle in your desired amount of salt before pouring in one pound penne pasta or rigatoni pasta which goes especially well with this recipe. Cook it according to package instructions because we don’t want any soggy pasta.

Step 3: Combination

Once the pasta has cooked drain off any leftover water before adding them into the skillet with the ingredients. Mix everything together so there are no unruly clumps of sausage or noodles, instead just a delicious mixture of sweet Italian sausage coated in a delectable red gravy which brings italian sunday dinners straight to your home plate!

From there serve it up hot in bowls garnished with a little bit more parsley on top if desired.

Substitutions and Variations

You can easily change this recipe up to suit your preferences or dietary needs. Below are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Meat: If you’re not a fan of sweet Italian sausage, you can use a different type of sausage, such as hot Italian sausage or mild Italian sausage. You could also use ground beef, ground pork, or turkey sausage.

– Tomato Products: Instead of using diced tomatoes with onion, garlic and basil, you could try crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes. You could also add some tomato sauce or tomato paste for an extra-rich flavor. For a touch of creaminess, try substituting tomato juice with creamy tomato soup.

– Herbs: While dried basil and parsley flakes are the herbs traditionally used in this recipe, it is possible to mix things up with other herbs like oregano or rosemary.

– Vegetables: You can vary the vegetables in the recipe to add your own personal touch. You could add bell peppers or sliced mushrooms for an added umami flavor. The magic of this recipe is that it can serve as a canvas for other vegetables that may be in season.

– Pasta Shapes: While rigatoni pasta is classic in this dish, spaghetti, penne pasta, and pappardelle pasta will all work well. They each have their own unique texture that will add variety to the dish.

Overall, it’s easy to make substitutions and variations to this recipe based on availability of ingredients and taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Serving and Pairing

Once your delicious Sweet Italian Sausage with Red Gravy and Pasta is ready, it’s time to serve it up just right. This meal is hearty and flavorful, so you want to match the sides and drinks accordingly.

First off, I highly recommend serving your pasta hot and fresh. You can keep the pasta separate from the sausage and sauce, or mix it all together for a lovely presentation of colors and flavors. For this dish, I suggest using dense pasta shapes that can hold onto the sauce well, such as rigatoni, penne, or pappardelle. The rich and chunky tomato sauce in this recipe pairs beautifully with these options.

In terms of sides, you can opt for classic Italian fare like garlic bread or a salad with balsamic dressing. A green salad with crispy romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions would do wonders. You could also serve some crusty bread on the side to sop up all that extra gravy.

As for drinks, a bottle of bold red wine such as cabernet sauvignon or Chianti will complement the depth of flavors in this dish wonderfully. If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, sparkling water or lemonade will do.

Overall, this Sweet Italian Sausage with Red Gravy and Pasta recipe is a crowd-pleaser that you’ll want to make over and over again. Just follow these recommendations on how to serve and pair it right to achieve perfection every time.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Once you’ve prepared your delectable Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta, it’s best to ensure you have leftovers by making more than you can eat in one sitting. This way, you’ll have a delicious meal for the next day or two. The leftovers can be reheated without detracting from the flavors.

If you’re planning on making this dish ahead of time or as part of meal-prep, cook the sausage a day in advance then let it cool down before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This way, you will save yourself some time and effort during cooking time by simply including it to the sauce when needed.

You can also freeze any extra so that you have portions ready anytime you’re too busy to cook from scratch. To freeze, make sure to portion each serving separately and place them into sealable freezer-safe bags or containers. Do not forget to label the packaging with the date of preparation and contents.

Reheating is easy as pasta dishes tend to reheat well. Allowing it to thaw overnight in the fridge will make reheating much faster for future meals. To reheat, use a microwave or oven and add a bit of water or sauce to moisten up the noodles. The flavors will meld together even more after reheating!

Beware of overcooking when reheating, because it may dry out pasta and cause the meat sauce to become rubbery and unappetizing. A little bit extra moisture or quick microwave heating is all that’s needed!

Tips for Perfect Results

To achieve the perfect sweet Italian sausage with red gravy and pasta recipe, there are a few tips and tricks you can use. Here are some of my recommendations:

1. Pre-cook the sausage: Before adding the sausage to the sauce, cook it beforehand. Brown sausage in a pan until cooked through and remove any excess fat. This process allows the sausage to become more flavorful and tender.

2. Use a mix of sweet and hot sausage: If you prefer a bit of spiciness in your recipe, then add some hot Italian sausage to sweet Italian sausage for a perfect balance of heat.

3. Experiment with different pastas: While this recipe calls for rigatoni pasta, feel free to experiment with different shapes such as pappardelle or penne. Each shape brings its own texture and flavor.

4. Finely chop the onion and celery: For the perfect texture in your red sauce, finely chop the onion and celery instead of leaving them too chunky.

5. Add salt to taste: The amount of salt needed for this recipe will depend on your preference, so I recommend starting with a small amount and gradually adding more until you reach your desired level of saltiness.

6. Garnish with parsley flakes: To add an extra pop of color to your dish, sprinkle some parsley flakes on top before serving.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to elevate this already delicious recipe and impress your friends and family at dinner time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this sweet Italian sausage with red gravy and pasta recipe is a must-try for any pasta lover out there. It’s quick, easy, and incredibly delicious with a perfect blend of spices that make your taste buds dance in delight.

With the right techniques and ingredients, this recipe can turn out to be a creamy tomato or marinara sauce with just the right amount of spice. Whether you use it for rigatoni or penne pasta or prefer it spicy or mild, this Italian sausage recipe will undoubtedly impress every time.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try! I guarantee you won’t regret it. With its combination of flavors and ideal simplicity, it’s sure to become one of your all-time favorites.

Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta

Sweet Italian Sausage With Red Gravy and Pasta Recipe

This is one of my husband's family's recipes. It's simple and doesn't require much prep time, especially if you use a food processor to cut the onion and celery. Seasoning amounts are approximate, though I don't recommend shorting the sugar. The gravy (I would call it sauce, but the family insists on "gravy" ) should be sweet and basil-heavy to complement the flavors of the sausages.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Beginner Cook, Easy, European, Meat, Poultry, Savory, Spaghetti, Sweet
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 423.2kcal


  • 2 (19 1/2 ounce) packages sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans water
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with onion garlic and basil
  • 1/2 cup sugar (may need as much as 1 cup to sweeten the gravy appropriately)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) box thin whole wheat spaghetti


  • Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat while dicing onion and celery. Sauté vegetables until onions turn clear. Remove from heat.
  • In a large pot (6 qt or larger, I use an 8 qt stock pot) over medium-low heat, combine tomato juice, tomato paste, water, diced tomatoes, onion, celery, sugar, and seasonings.
  • Heat gravy to a boil (shouldn't need to raise heat above medium) and add sausages; boil for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain. Spoon a small amount of gravy over pasta (in its own pot) and stir gently to help prevent sticking.
  • Serving size is roughly a cup of pasta, one sausage, and about 3/4 cup gravy.

Your own notes


Serving: 380g | Calories: 423.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 59.5g | Protein: 25.2g | Fat: 11.8g | Saturated Fat: 4.1g | Cholesterol: 57.9mg | Sodium: 1887.7mg | Fiber: 3.4g | Sugar: 22.9g

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