Creamy Tomato Sausage Penne is the most perfect, quick, easy, wonderfully tasty pasta dish. Full of flavorful Italian sausage, penne, and a creamy marinara sauce, and so quick to pull together!
What could be more wonderful than a big bowl of pasta? Pasta with Italian sausage? Well…probably. Pasta with Italian sausage and marinara sauce? Also, yes. Pasta with Italian sausage, a creamy marinara sauce, and loads of Italian spices and flavor? Yes, yes, yes! I think it doesn’t get any better than this, my friends! This creamy tomato sausage penne pasta hits the spot, the jackpot, the bullseye…you name it, I’ll confirm that it’s true!
I love that this Italian sausage pasta recipe is easily made from all your typical pantry staples, but also that it is elevated with the use of Italian sausage and some heavy cream to really make that marinara work for all it’s got. Why just use boring sauce out of a jar when you can have creamy, ooey, gooey pasta sauce smothering the pasta with tender pieces of sausage in every bite? Add a healthy amount of cheese on top and watch me cry from anticipation. I’ll dig right in and straight-up burn my mouth, I love this pasta that much. Did I convince you yet? I hope so!
Here’s what you’ll Need
With just a few pantry staples and a little bit of spices and some heavy cream mixed in, this pasta dish is anything but ordinary.
- Penne noodles
- Ground Italian sausage (hot or mild)
- Olive oil
- Marinara sauce
- Garlic powder
- Italian blend herb seasoning or Herbs de Provence
- Heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
Here’s How You Make it
As easy as the ingredients are to source, this pasta with creamy tomato sauce is even easier to make!
- First, drizzle oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Then, add the sausage and brown for 5-8 minutes, breaking it apart into small pieces as it cooks.
2. Next, stir in the marinara sauce (whatever you have on hand is fine) and the garlic powder and Italian seasonings and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Now stir in the heavy cream, then add to the sauce the cooked penne. Salt and pepper to your heart’s desire. Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or thyme if you like and serve. (If you love fresh basil like me, you can also try my Baked Feta Tomato Pasta.)
What Sauce goes with Penne Pasta
Tube-shaped pastas like penne and ziti are great for grabbing up all the bits of a thicker sauce, like this one that features both Italian sausage and some heavy cream for richness.
Another yummy sauce that goes with just about any pasta, including penne, is a lovely homemade (or store bought) pesto!
What Sides go well with Italian Sausage?
These sides will pair well with this simple pasta dish, as well as other ways in which you eat Italian sausage.
- Roasted vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts always go well with sausage and pasta.
- A yummy Caesar salad hits the spot and is on-theme with your Italian dinner.
- How about some grilled zucchini or another of your favorite veggies on the grill?
- Garlic bread is always a winner with anything Italian (or anything at all, if you ask me!).
- Looking for a different take on the same old lettuce salad? How about a Caprese salad on the side?
- Italian sausage also works well inside a hoagie roll with roasted bell peppers or in zucchini boats too!
Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream
Over the years heavy cream has become a fridge staple for me because I use it in a lot of my recipes, and I love the easy creaminess it makes in so many pasta dishes and soups.
But, if you don’t have heavy cream handy, here are a few of my favorite substitutions that will work well:
- Combine milk and butter in a saucepan (equal parts of both) till the butter is melted, then pour into the sausage and sauce.
- If you’re not a fan of milk you can use olive oil and unsweetened, plain soy milk instead.
- Make a slurry with milk and cornstarch.
- Try half-and-half and butter if you’d like your cream to be a bit thicker.
- Greek yogurt and milk can work in a pinch too!
- Cottage cheese and milk also make a nice thickening agent — and I’m not going to lie, I like the pieces of cottage cheese (and the taste) in this pasta dish.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Cacio e Pepe with Mushrooms
- Chicken and Mushroom Melt
- Easy Grilled Lemon Garlic Shrimp
- Creamy Pesto Parmesan Chicken
Did you make this Creamy Tomato Sausage Penne recipe? YAY! Please rate the recipe below!
Creamy Tomato Sausage Penne
- 3 cups (12 ounces) penne noodles - cooked according to package directions
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage - hot or mild
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian blend herb seasoning - or Herbs de Provence
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons salt - to taste
- cracked black pepper - to taste
- Drizzle oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown for 5-8 minutes, breaking apart into small pieces as it cooks.
- Stir in marinara sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream. Stir in cooked penne. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in cooked penne. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or thyme if desired and serve.