Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Vodka Sauce with creamy, meaty, and tasty sauce. Easy to make and perfect for busy weeknight dinners!
I’ve been on a pasta binge these past weeks that every time G asked what’s for dinner, it was either cheesy spaghetti, baked ziti or a noodle dish of some sort. It came to a point where before he even asked, he already had a pot of water boiling. Ha!
Not that he was one to complain, the kind soul. Or had anything to complain about for that matter. I mean, the penne alfredo with broccoli was spot on. The one-pot BBQ chicken pasta we had a few days was out of this world delicious. The pesto pasta with bocconcini and cherry tomatoes prior that was scrumptious with sides of green salad and crusty french rolls.
And this spaghetti pasta with vodka sauce and Italian sausage? A-mah-zing! With creamy tomato sauce kicked up in flavor with a healthy splash of vodka and hearty chunks of spicy Italian sausage over al dente spaghetti, it’s guaranteed to be a family favorite!
What is Vodka Sauce
Vodka Sauce is a pasta sauce made from San Marzano crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, Vodka, and Italian herbs. The alcohol in the vodka acts as an emulsifier which keeps the acidity of the tomatoes from separating the cream as well as enhances the flavor of the tomatoes creating a more intense taste.
Although this pink sauce is more commonly associated with penne, it’s equally delicious with your favorite type or shape of pasta.
Tips on How to Make Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Vodka Sauce:
- If you want to temper the spice, use mild Italian sausage instead of the hot variety. If you love to kick up the heat, add crushed red pepper flakes when browning the meat.
- To prevent the sauce from curdling, cook in a simmer and do not allow to boil when heavy cream is added.
- If you’re planning the freeze the sauce for future use, store without the heavy cream and just add when reheating.
- The crushed tomatoes are the cornerstone of this pasta with vodka sauce. Please make an effort to find San Marzano tomatoes which are Italian plum tomatoes known for their sweet flavor and deep red color.
Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Vodka Sauce
- 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 can (28 ounces) San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- basil leaves, chiffonaded
- Parmesan cheese
- In a pot over medium heat, bring salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions for about 8 to 10 minutes or until firm to bite. In a colander, drain well.
- In a pot over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Heat until butter begins to melt.
- Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until softened and begins to slightly caramelize. Add garlic and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds or until aromatic.
- Add Italian sausage and cook, breaking into pieces with back of the spoon, until lightly browned. Drain excess fat as needed.
- Add vodka and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is fully cooked and sauce is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Continue to simmer for about 3 to 5 minute or until sauce begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
- Divide spaghetti onto serving plates. Ladle sauce on top and garnish with basil leaves. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired.