Creamy Tomato Penne with Italian Sausage


Creamy Tomato Penne with Italian Sausage

It is no secret that I love Italian food, pasta especially, so Ryan and I frequent a few Italian restaurants around town. This recipe was inspired by a dish we had at our favorite restaurant. I made a traditional tomato sauce with Italian sausage, onions and garlic. To make it creamy I added some mascarpone cheese before tossing it with the penne pasta. A little fresh basil at the end added a little bit of sweetness.

You can use any kind of Italian sausage that you would like. I prefer to use hot, but this would be just as good with mild or even sweet Italian sausage. Just keep in mind when you are seasoning the sauce that the sausage can be kind of salty so you will want to adjust your salt accordingly.

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:


  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes with Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)
  • kosher salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • handful of fresh basil leaves


  1. In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage over medium heat. Remove to colander to strain the grease.
  2. In the same skillet, add onion and garlic. Cook 3 minutes or until onion has softened.
  3. Add tomatoes and oregano to the skillet. Return sausage to the skillet. Cook over medium heat while you prepare your pasta.
  4. Meanwhile, start your pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain.
  5. Stir mascarpone cheese into tomato sauce. Once the cheese has melted, stir in penne pasta. Toss to coat.
  6. Gently chop basil and sprinkle it over the pasta. Serve hot.

If all goes well with my little garden, hopefully I will be able to use my own fresh basil in a few months. :) Enjoy!

  • Cassie

    I love the addition of mascarpone.

  • Ninette

    I wish I had a fork so I could grab some penne right out of the photo. Looks delicious!

  • Deseree

    Thanks Cassie, it added the perfect creamy touch. :)
    Thanks Ninette!

  • The Craving Chronicles

    Yum! I think I’m going to make this for dinner next week. I love that it doesn’t use heavy cream for the sauce!

  • Sara

    Mascarpone sounds great in the pasta sauce!

  • Deseree

    Let me know how it goes The Craving Chronicles! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)
    Thanks Sara, it was delicious in the sauce!

  • Jennifer

    this was super yummy – a hit at our girls night.. we used gr turkey since there was no gr sausage at TJ’s.. added some italian seasoning to the meat to make up for no sausage and it was yummy

  • Deseree

    Yay! I am glad you liked it. The use of ground turkey sounds like a great idea. :)

  • Theresa

    I finally got around to making this a couple of nights ago for dinner. It was really good! I’ll probably make it again sometime. I love the marscapone!

  • Deseree

    Thanks Theresa! I am glad that you enjoyed it!

  • omobolanle balogun

    Its look delicious,I can’t wait to try it at home.thanks girl friend.

A little bit about me...

My name is Des. I’m a Mom to Kellan and Preston. Wife to Ryan. Dog mom to Pumpkin and lover of all things food. Whether it is cooking it, eating it, shopping for it or watching TV about it, food is one of my favorite things. Read more »

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