Weeknight Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

 Weeknight Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce x
Weeknights are busy, busy, busy. As my kids get older, the more intense their schedules get and the title of chauffeur has been permanently added to my resume. I secretly imagine them being able to hire an Uber or Lyft car to pick them up and drive them around....not that we will ever have that option out here in the country...but still, wouldn't that be awesome? 

It's hard to keep up with basketball practice, speech and debate practice, tournaments and tennis meets, appointments, meetings, clubs, homework...yikes, it's never-ending. And some have told us we're just getting started. Really? This is why a handful of quick, easy and flavorful meals everyone will eat are a must. 

My family loves a good pasta or spaghetti dinner, but many versions of my red sauce take all day to cook or require lots of ingredients. However, my quick weeknight version takes advantage of all the flavors found in Johnsonville's Mild Ground Italian Sausage. It makes putting a meal together so much simpler.

Johnsonville Sausage Noble Pig
Using Italian sausage is an easy way to make a flavorful sauce when you only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. The kid's love that it is not over-the-top spicy and my husband and I love the taste too. 

Weeknight Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
The sauce is rich, thick and tastes like you've been cooking all day.

Print Recipe

Weeknight Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com | Serves: 3-4


  • 3/4 lbs dried pasta or spaghetti
  • 1 lb Johnsonville Ground Italian Sausage
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups your favorite prepared marinara sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons pizza seasoning (preferred) or Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons freeze-dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon freeze-dried garlic or fresh, crushed garlic
  • finely shredded Parmesan
  • red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Start water to boil for pasta and cook according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, begin browning sausage. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until sausage and mushrooms are cooked through. Add marinara, pizza seasoning, basil and garlic. Heat through (stirring) and simmer for about 15 minutes on very low heat.
  • Pour sauce over drained and cooked pasta noodles and serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if you like.

Two Years Ago: Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake
Three Years Ago: Oat-Nut-Cherry-Chip Granola Breakfast Cookie
Four Years Ago: Chimichurri Meatballs
Six Years Ago: Pasta Pie

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8 Comments and 3 Replies

  1. Yeah, I’m looking for an Uber or Lyft car too. (Still dreaming…) I chauffeur four these days. Thanks for the great flavorful sauce recipe, will be picking up Johnsonville Italian sausage.

  2. nancy geragi 2

    Oh my what a fun recipe…….Going back six years ago to the Pasta Pie Recipe….this sauce will be awesome…will need to dice the mushrooms…..To go back to the Pasta Pie…being myself I can’t leave great alone…..Following the orginal… I made up the cheese mix I use in lasagne, made sure it was creamy, but it in a pastry bag with a tip that fit the pasta opening and filled about a third of the tubes with the cheese mixture then filling the remainder as done in the orginial recipe and finishing as in the orginal…oh wow what a fun dish! Now with the added flavor and quickness of this recipe I will do it more often…..and take the bows!….As always please keep up the great blog….always delighted to see it in the mail!!!!!

  3. Such a flavourful yummy glorious recipe. Mouthwatering one!!!

  4. My tummy is growling like crazy now! I would totally eat this every day!

  5. Valerie 5

    Great flavor and super quick! I served the sauce over veggie-stuffed shells and it was a nice complement. Thank you for sharing!

  6. What a homey and comforting dish!

  7. Cameo 9

    Love your recipes and your touching story about how your life has changed 4 the positive…. with ur husbands diagnosis. I am going through something similar with my husband. At age 52 and age 56 we have sold our glamourous home on a lake and downsized 2 get lean…… trying 2 decide what is next. Best wishes 2 u both………

  8. What a beautiful pasta! It looks so filling and flavorful. I’m adding this to my list of dinners to make.


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