Fusilli Pasta with Sausage Ragu

This fusilli pasta is perfectly paired with a sweet & spicy sausage ragu sauce that is not only easy to make but is simply delicious in taste. A crowd-pleasing pasta dish fit for any occasion!

hand holding ceramic bowl with fusilli pasta noodles mixed with red sauce. 

Fusilli (pronounced foo-zee-lee) is a corkscrew-shaped pasta noodle that is my top choice to use in dishes that have lots of sauce or cheese. You’ll find the twists of the noodles hold onto the sauce rather than sliding off the edges if it were a smoothly shaped pasta noodle.

Because of this, these fun twisty noodles are the perfect compliment to this sweet & spicy ragu sauce! Each bite has a little bit of sausage, diced veggies, and rich tomato sauce in it.

This specific recipe came about when my mom came to visit me in Los Angeles and we both had a hankering for pasta when she arrived (we’re clearly related).

If you’re into saucy pasta with a little bit of sweetness and a touch of spice, then you have met your match with this dish. It is truly what I dream about when I crave Italian noodles and red sauce.

Ingredients – What You’ll Need

I love this pasta dish because it’s not only fast but simply made by consisting of only 9 ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need including some ingredient substitutions:

Italian sausage: I like using half sweet Italian and spicy sausage for balance.
Crushed tomatoes: use fire roasted tomatoes for extra flavor!
Garlic cloves: I like using fresh garlic over powder for taste.
Carrot: 1 large or 2 small carrots are a good amount.
Red onion: I recommend using red over yellow because of how sweet its flavor is.
Broth: I use a splash of broth or you can use white wine to deglaze the pan. Water can work as well.
Pasta noodles: I recommend fusilli or rotini but you can use any pasta you’d like.
Parmesan cheese: freshly grated parmesan cheese is always a step above pre-grated cheese.
Basil: I love using lots of fresh basil in all pasta dishes.

Let’s Make Pasta Fusilli with Ragu Sauce – Step by Step

(1) First, remove sausage from the casing and brown in a pan (no oil is needed). This process should take about 7 minutes.

(2) Then add diced onions, carrots, and garlic.

(3) Saute veggies for 2-3 minutes with sausage. Then add a splash of broth to help deglaze the pan (this helps draw out more flavor).

(4) Last, add crushed tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt & pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes (or until carrots are tender) then serve with pasta, fresh basil, and parmesan.

Servings Suggestions

This pasta dish has so much flavor all on it’s own. But dressing it up with one or two simple sides is always a good idea! We love serving this pasta with a crusty french bread that’s either served warm with butter or made into garlic bread.

You can also add some greens to your meal by serving up your pasta along with a simple salad or roasted vegetables.

Extra Cooking Tips and Recipe Variations

Tip
Lodge Cast Iron Casserole Pan

Our favorite cast iron casserole pot!

This lovely red pan is perfect for recipes like this! It is great for caramelizing meat & veggies, making one pot dinners, or for baking bread – because it gets extremely hot! It's also so beautiful and easy to clean. I highly recommend this pan for any home chef!

  • Make it gluten free: either use your favorite gluten free noodles for this dish or serve this ragu over zucchini noodles.
  • Sausage: I don’t recommend swapping sausage for ground beef or turkey. I really recommend sausage (sweet Italian and spicy) for this recipe because of how much flavor it brings to this whole dish.
  • Tomatoes: I like using crushed tomatoes in this recipe because I love a little texture in my sauce. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use pureed tomatoes instead for a simple swap.

wooden spoon stirring red sauce.

This meal is dressed to impress for any occasion while being incredibly easy and achievable no matter your level of experience in the kitchen!

Serve it up for a weeknight meal, fancy date night, or add it to your Italian holiday spread. No matter the occasion, I hope you and your family love this dish just as much as my family!

For the Pasta Lovers

If you’re a big fan of pasta dishes like this fusilli and ragu sauce, you may also enjoy my cheesy rotini pasta with roasted vegetables or this easy baked ziti. If you like the sausage in this fusilli dish, you may also enjoy my sweet & spicy Italian sausage lasagna.

These recipes are equally delicious, can be prepared for any and every occasion, and are super simple to make!

red pan with fusilli noodles in it with a wooden spoon.

If you tried this Fusilli Pasta with Sausage Ragu recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

hand holding ceramic bowl with fusilli noodles with red sauce.

Fusilli Pasta with Sausage Ragu

This fusilli pasta is perfectly paired with a sweet & spicy sausage ragu sauce that is not only easy to make but is simply delicious in taste. A crowd-pleasing pasta dish fit for any occasion!

Servings 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: fusilli pasta, ragu sauce, spicy fusilli pasta
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Author: Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

  • 2 sausage links (1 sweet Italian sausage 1 spicy sausage)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-large carrot, diced small
  • 2-3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (see notes)
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & black pepper
  • fusilli or rotini pasta

Instructions

  1. Cook sausage: In a large skillet, heat on medium heat and add sausage (remove from casing). Brown in pan for about 7 minutes – let sausage cook so edges can crisp but stir occasionally to avoid burning.

  2. Add diced veggies: In the same pan with sausage, add diced red onion, minced garlic, and carrot. Saute with sausage for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Deglaze pan and simmer: Add a splash of broth or white wine to pan to help deglaze pan – scrape bottom of pan with spatula. Then add crushed tomatoes with generous pinch of salt & pepper. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes (or until carrots are tender). If sauce cooks down too much add water in small amounts as needed.

  4. Cook pasta: While sauce is cooking boil water for pasta – season pasta water 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook pasta as box/bag instructs – drain pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

  5. Combine noodles and ragu: Add pasta and pasta water to ragu sauce. Stir together with 1/4 cup fresh parmesan and chopped basil – serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make it gluten free: either use your favorite gluten free noodles for this dish or serve this ragu over zucchini noodles.
  • Sausage: I don’t recommend swapping sausage for ground beef or turkey. I really recommend sausage (sweet Italian and spicy) for this recipe because of how much flavor it brings to this whole dish.
  • Tomatoes: I like using crushed tomatoes in this recipe because I love a little texture in my sauce. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use pureed tomatoes instead for a simple swap.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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