Spicy sausage fettuccine uses hot Italian sausage to do the heavy lifting in terms of flavor. It's a great option for busy weeknights (done in under 40 minutes!) and has simple prep and steps.
Making Sunday sauce is such a treat, but getting going on that after work is not going to happen unless you like eating at midnight. Allowing it time to simmer is non-negotiable.
This spicy sausage fettuccine is a short-cut way to satisfy a red sauce craving. Hot Italian sausage is a really flavorful base to liven up basic crushed tomatoes and the usual suspects: onion, garlic, tomato paste, spices, etc. After a brief simmer to allow the flavors to combine, you're all set to toss with pasta and dig in.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- It's quick! On the table in around 40 minutes.
- It uses mostly ingredients you may already have on hand. As long as I have the meat, I know I'm all set to make spicy sausage fettuccine.
- This recipe is forgiving and has lots of wiggle room for customizing. Truly a no-stress dinner.
- Italian sausage: I use hot Italian sausage to bring all the heat here, but if you prefer or have on hand sweet or mild Italian sausage, you can add crushed red pepper flakes to make it spicy. A package of ground sausage is easiest, but you can also remove Italian sausage links from their casings.
- Crushed tomatoes: Look for a variety that features added basil for an extra boost of flavor.
- Fettuccine: Another long noodle, such as spaghetti, or smaller shaped pastas are fine.
- Add the ground sausage to a large pan set over medium heat. Break up the sausage into crumbles as it cooks. Once fully cooked, transfer it to a plate.
- Pour olive oil into the pan, then add onion to cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic to cook for one minute, then add tomato paste. Break it up into smaller globs as it cooks for 2 minutes or so.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and dried spices and give everything a big stir. Simmer, partially-covered, for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Periodically stir.
- Separately, boil the fettuccine until your preferred doneness, then toss it with the sauce. Garnish with basil chiffonade and lots of grated Parmesan or Pecorino to serve.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- To lighten this recipe up (or eliminate red meat), ground Italian turkey sausage can be used.
- Cover the pan of sauce almost all the way, but not entirely. You want to prevent the simmering sauce from splattering all over your cooktop, but also leave room for steam to escape so the sauce can thicken.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Spicy Sausage Fettuccine
- 1 lb (454g) ground hot Italian sausage
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Half of a medium onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced/pressed
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 16 ounces dried fettuccine
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino, more for serving.
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- Heat a large pan on the stove over medium heat, then add the ground Italian sausage. Cook, breaking it up into crumbles, until browned on all sides and fully cooked throughout, about 10 minutes. Once cooked through, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
- Add the olive oil to the now-empty pan and set it back on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the tomato paste and stir it into the onion/garlic for 2 or so minutes. Break it into smaller globs so it coats everything.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the dried oregano, dried parsley, salt, and pepper, then given everything a big stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low-ish to simmer, then cover the pan mostly, leaving a crack where steam can escape. Let the sauce simmer until thickened how you like it, stirring occasionally.
- As sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, then add the fettuccine. Cook according to package directions. Drain pasta and return it to the pot. Adjust any seasonings as needed in the sauce, then pour it into the pot with the pasta and stir until the fettuccine is evenly coated. Stir in the grated Parmesan and fresh basil, then portion out to serve.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
This post was updated with new photos and slight recipe tweaks (mainly using crushed tomatoes in place of jarred marinara sauce and adding more garlic) in September 2022.