EASY Italian Sausage Spaghetti

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Everyone has their favorite way of making spaghetti sauce. Ours is incredibly easy and crazy good, especially considering how easy it is to make.

There’s no special formula or hours of simmering. You just cook some chopped onions and garlic, brown some Italian sausage, and add some puréed canned tomatoes.

My parents and I have been making spaghetti this way for years. They first heard about it on a Martha Stewart show, where Martha had picked it up from a chef in New York City. (Thank you Martha!)

The beauty of this spaghetti recipe is that it is very easy to make and you don’t have to add any seasoning to achieve wonderful flavor. The sauce gets all of its seasoning from two Italian sausages—one sweet, one spicy.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2006.

EASY Italian Sausage Spaghetti Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

This spaghetti recipe is light on the sauce, which is more typical of how spaghetti is actually served in Italy. If you would like more sauce, you may want to thin it with water, or add more canned tomatoes to the sauce.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 ounces (110 g) Italian sweet sausage (or one 7 to 8 inch link)
  • 4 ounces (110 g)  Italian hot and spicy sausage (or one 7 to 8 inch link)
  • 1 large (28 oz, 794 g) can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 lb (16 oz, 450 g) spaghetti pasta
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1 Sauté onions and garlic: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium or medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

2 Put pasta water on to boil: While the onions are cooking, put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta (4 quarts water, 2 Tbsp salt).

3 Brown the sausage: Remove the cooked onion and garlic from the pan and set aside. Remove the sausage meat from the casings (if your sausage is in links) and add to the pan, breaking up the meat with your fingers as you add it to the pan. Cook on medium to medium high heat until lightly browned.

4 Add tomatoes, onions, garlic: Lightly purée the whole peeled canned tomatoes (and juices) in a blender, and add to the skillet with the sausage meat. Add the cooked onions and garlic.

5 Boil the spaghetti pasta: Once the pasta water has come to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti pasta. Allow the water to return to a rolling boil. Cook, uncovered, with a vigorous boil, for as long as the directions on the pasta package say, usually about 10-12 minutes. When pasta is al dente (cooked but still a little firm), remove the pot from the heat. Drain the pasta and place it in a serving bowl.

Serve immediately. Toss with the sauce and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.


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Italian Sausage Spaghetti

Showing 4 of 43 Comments

  • Beth

    Love this recipe! I am living in Italy, learning the language and learning how to cook all over again. This website has been an incredible resource for me. Following then then NOT following this recipe has taught me a lot. Following this recipe exactly as written has resulted in the authentic ragu taste that I have such an appreciation for here! Thank you Elise!

  • Laura

    So tasty!!! I loved it and I was so proud of myself for making a sauce with so much flavor. Thank you for making me look like a rock star!!

  • Kelly

    This was so good! The best sausage spaghetti I have had. I only made one change. I added some sliced mushrooms.

  • Sherronett Clarke


    Another hit recipe! There can never be too much spaghetti in my house! Never thought of mixing the sweet Italian with hot and spicy Italian sausage. Love it! One suggestion I have is to add diced celery. Sounds weird but it’s from a family recipe. It gives a great flavor and a crunch most people like. I hope you give it a try.

    Sherronett C.

  • pam

    Hi, Elise,

    this has become a staple!
    tonight i added mushroom. also goes quite well.


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