Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella

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Pasta with a tomato sauce with Italian turkey sausage and smoked mozzarella cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you ever tried smoked mozzarella cheese? It’s sort of like a mozzarella version of gouda. I had never encountered it until my father used it in a recipe he got from a local butcher shop.

This is the recipe, with lots of changes from the original which called for three times as much cheese. We found with this cheese that, unlike regular mozzarella which is quite mild in flavor, a little smoked mozzarella goes a long way.

We’ve made this several times; it now makes a regular appearance in my parent’s home because it’s quick, filling, and tasty. It also makes terrific leftovers.

Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 4

Turkey sausage is rather lean. If you use regular pork sausage, cook it up first, then discard the rendered fat and use the residual fat in the pan to cook the onions and garlic.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, bulk or cut into 1/2-inch slices*
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 pound fusilli pasta
  • Salt
  • 3 ounces smoked Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

*If you put the sausage in the freezer first for a half hour, it will be easier to slice.

Method

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

2 Add tomatoes and sausage: Add the tomatoes to the pan (if using canned whole tomatoes shred them with your fingers as you add them to the pan). Include the juices.

Add the sausage and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

3 Cook the pasta: While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon and a half of salt for every quart of water.

Cook the pasta according to pasta package instructions, until al dente, or cooked through, but still a bit firm. Drain the water from the pasta.

Combine the pasta and the sauce in a large serving bowl.

4 Add smoked mozzarella and Parmesan: Stir in the cubed smoked mozzarella cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese has softened and is a bit melty. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Links:

Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce here on Simply Recipes

Sausage, peppers, and smoked mozzarella panini from Kathy of Panini

Herb butter mushrooms with smoked mozzarella from Shaheen, The Purple Foodie

Pasta with Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella

Showing 4 of 29 Comments

  • My Simple Food

    I’ve never heard of smoked mozarella. Interesting. How did the overall dish taste like?

    Smokey, cheesey, sausagey pasta. ~Elise

  • lorie

    Is the sausage precooked? It looks absolutely delish!

    Like regular Italian pork sausage, the turkey sausage is raw. ~Elise

  • Violet Smith

    Hi Elise,

    I always enjoy reading your Simply Recipes.
    For the pasta with turkey sausage and smoked mozzarella, do you think substituting a tiny bit of liquid smoke which I have on hand now in combination with the mozzarella would be okay? I may try it since that’s what I have on hand along with all the other ingredients, except also ground beef versus turkey sausage. Just wondering what your take was on the liquid smoke. I bought it once for something else and haven’t really used it since.

    Thanks.

    Violet Smith

    We just used liquid smoke yesterday in a recipe, love it. It’s just a distillation of the smoke from smoking hickory. You could try it, just a little little bit, if you wanted to in this recipe. Let us know how it works out for you if you do. ~Elise

  • Erin

    This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to try it!

    One question, though. I am highly sensitive to peppers (bordering on allergic) and am therefore hesitant about the red pepper flakes – will it drastically change the flavor if I eliminate them? Do you have any suggestions for a replacement/alternative to the red pepper flakes?

    I would just keep them out. Though make sure that chili pepper flakes are not an ingredient in the sausage that you get. “Hot” or spicy Italian sausage may have chili in it. ~Elise

  • Jessica

    When you buy the sausage, is it the kind that is raw (imagining brats) or pre-cooked, ready to eat (the fancy gourmet kind you see)?

    Raw. ~Elise

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