Once you make tomato sauce from scratch it’s hard to go back to pre-made store bought ones. Making a basic tomato sauce is so easy and the flavors are so much more than anything you can buy at a grocery store. Adding a little meat like sausages adds more depth of flavor and makes your pasta dish look gourmet. This sausage rigatoni is the bomb! I serve this dish whenever we have friends over and I want to wow them. This dish is both sweet and savory, and the combination of herbs and meaty sausages add incredible depth of flavor and texture. There are quite a few steps to this  sausage rigatoni recipe but all of them are pretty simple and easy to follow.

Sausage rigatoni with tomato sauce

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Main, Pasta, Noodles
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 4 links sweet sausage
  • 1 stalk leek (rinsed and sliced on the bias)
  • 1 tablespoon sage (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound rigatoni (dry)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Remove the sausage casings by slicing each sausage in half lengthwise. Peel off the casing with your fingers. Put the sausages in a large pan over medium/high heat, breaking them apart into a ground mixture until golden brown. Turn the heat off and pour the mixture into a bowl.
  3. Drain extra fat from the pan and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, sage, leeks and cayenne pepper. Cook for 3 minutes and add sausage mixture back in the pan. Cook for a little longer until all ingredients are fully cooked. Turn the heat off and keep to the side.

For the creamy tomato sauce:

  1. In a medium size pot over medium/ high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme, garlic and onions. Cook for 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, covered loosely with a lid. Add sugar and about 1 tsp kosher salt, stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Puree the tomatoes until smooth. Add milk and butter, and stir. Add sausage mixture and turn the heat off.
  4. Pour over rigatoni and serve with fresh parmesan.


  • Calories: 679
  • Saturated Fat: 7
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