Spicy Sausage Pasta with Rapini

Spicy Sausage Pasta with Rapini is an easy and delicious dinner that will have everyone fighting for seconds!

spicy sausage pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta with Rapini

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This recipe totally blows other sausage pasta recipes out of the water. Al dente Rigatoni pasta in a sauce made with sweet chunks of San Marzano tomatoes, red wine, spicy Italian sausage and delicious broccoli rabe (or some people know it as rapini) topped with plenty of freshly grated Romano cheese. Basically, everything that my cozy dinner dreams are made of.

I am extra excited to share this recipe and collaboration today, specifically because I’m collaborating with Tuttorosso. This collaboration has some extra personal significance to me because it’s the canned tomato brand that my beloved Grandma Rosie used to craft her legendary sauce.

With Grandma, along with all the other ladies in my family, sauce is sacred and we all go out of our way to use only the very best ingredients, which you can taste and see in Tuttorosso tomatoes. Their mission is to provide the freshest, best-tasting, Italian inspired tomato products in the world.

Sauce with sausage

pasta ingredients

Why use Tuttorosso products to make Italian Sausage Pasta?

Tuttorosso doesn’t use anything artificial – instead they use Steam Sealed Flavor-Loc™ system to protect the fresh, vine-ripened flavor without the “canned” taste. You can literally see the difference when compared to other canned tomatoes! It’s quality you can see and quality you can taste, which keeps us coming back to them again and again.

And then there’s integrity. The pride and care of family ownership drives them to prioritize things like sustainably produced tomatoes, NON-GMO ingredients and Non-BPA lined cans. This and their fantastic flavor is part of the reason that they’re the best-selling Italian inspired canned tomato brand in the USA. Not to mention that Tuttorosso is a great resource for new recipes, tips, techniques and ideas.

Tuttorosso San Marzano Tomatoes

sausage pasta

Tips for making spicy sausage pasta and broccoli rabe

  • I generally start my water boiling before starting the sauce, that way when it’s time to add the pasta, it’s all ready to go. And make sure you salt the water well before you add the pasta!
  • If you want your pasta to be really spicy, you can add a little crushed red pepper at the beginning with the onions and garlic and it will infuse the spicy flavor into the oil (I personally didn’t do this because the spicy sausage is just the right amount of heat for me but if you love the heat, have at it!).
  • To remove the casings from the Italian sausage, I use a sharp knife to slice into the casing all the way down the side of the sausage and peel back the casing while squeezing out the sausage. Then I use a wooden spoon to break it up as it cooks.
  • As with every recipe, always taste it before serving and add salt if it needs it. IF you can purchase the sausage without the casing, that’s event better. You’ll want to purchase around 1 1/4 pounds.
  • I strongly encourage you to serve this with plenty of grated Romano cheese, a nice crusty loaf of Italian bread for sop up all of that amazing sauce and a glass of the red wine you use in the sauce (bonus tip: always cook with good wine that you would also drink!).

Italian sausage pasta

italian sausage pasta

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the best sausage to use for this pasta? I specifically wrote this recipe to use spicy Italian pork sausage. The very first test I did was with sweet Italian sausage, and while it was still tasty, I really felt like the spicy sausage brought the flavor to a whole other level.
  • If I don’t eat spicy foods can I use sweet Italian sausage? You definitely can but I’d encourage you to use a little crushed red pepper or at least a little black pepper.
  • How can I make this a little more nutritious? Instead of using pork sausage you can use spicy Italian Turkey (or poultry) sausage. You could also serve it over zoodles instead of pasta, although be sure to add those at the very last second so that they don’t get mushy.
  • Does this reheat well? Yes it does! I ate it for lunch the next day and brought some to our elderly neighbor across the street (she was also a big fan of this dish and also an Italian-American).
  • Can I freeze it? I wouldn’t recommend freezing this.

A plate of sausage pasta

sausage pasta recipes

Helpful tools:

  1. Large saute pan
  2. Wooden spoon
  3. Chef’s knife
  4. Cutting board
  5. Measuring cups
  6. Measuring spoons
  7. Large pot
Spicy Sausage Pasta with Rapini
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Spicy Sausage Pasta with Rapini is an easy and delicious dinner that will have everyone fighting for seconds!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup good red wine (if you don't cook with alcohol you can substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 28 ounce can Tuttorosso San Marzano Style Chopped Tomatoes in Puree with Sea Salt, undrained
  • 1 bunch rapini, cleaned, trimmed of thicker stems and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 cups rigatoni pasta
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • Romano cheese, to taste
  1. Fill a large pot with water and begin heating to a boil on one of the side burners. 

  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan on your main burner over medium-high heat.

  3. Add onions and garlic and saute stirring often until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. 

  4. Add sausage to the pan and use a wooden spoon to break it into bite-size pieces. Stir often until brown, around 6-7 minutes.

  5. Add 1/2 cup red wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Add can of Tuttorosso San Marzano Style Chopped Tomatoes in Puree with Sea Salt and stir in rapini. 

  7. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.

  8. While the sauce simmers, boil the pasta to al dente as per the package directions and drain when finished.

  9. Add the drained pasta into the pan with the sauce and stir well to combine. Taste the sauce for flavor and if necessary add a little salt.

  10. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Romano cheese.

Recipe Notes

If you want your pasta to be really spicy, you can add a little crushed red pepper at this time and it will infuse into the oil.

If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions!

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  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 7:31 am when do you add the rapini????
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      February 23, 2019 at 11:46 am Hi John- it's listed in the recipe in step 6- enjoy :)

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