Zesty Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

Italian sausage pasta sauce
Angela Sorrentino / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
309 Calories
25g Fat
10g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 309
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 900mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 18mg 90%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 485mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Italian sausage pasta sauce is made by browning Italian sausage and then simmering it in a fresh tomato sauce.

The intention is that you would use ground Italian pork sausage meat (not sausages in a casing), either hot or mild and cook it the way you would cook ground beef.

But if you wanted to use Italian sausages in ​the casing, you would first brown them in a skillet, then add about a cup of water and simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes or so, until the sausages are cooked all the way through. Then slice the sausages and add them to the sauce in Step 6.

The sauce calls for two 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes, but you could substitute crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes or tomato purée.


  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with liquids

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh Italian sausage

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 4 carrots, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil for a minute over medium heat.​

  2. Add the onions and carrots, and sauté for a bit until the onions are translucent but not brown.​

  3. Add the tomatoes and the garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly reduced. If you like, use a wooden spoon to break up the whole tomatoes while the sauce simmers.​

  4. Meanwhile, slice the Italian sausage and brown it in a separate skillet in a small amount of oil. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.​

  5. Remove from heat and pass through a food mill or purée in a food processor until smooth, working in batches if necessary.​

  6. Return the sauce to the pot, add the browned sausage, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.​

  7. Season to taste with kosher salt and sugar, toss with the hot cooked pasta of your choice, and serve right away. A wide pasta like fettuccine would be a good choice.