Spaghetti with Italian sausage & red wine sauce

Having Marc around, I have to cook something quick and easy most of the time these days. Pasta is quick to prepare and can have so many variations. I had some fresh pork sausages kept frozen for one of those busy or lazy evenings. The beauty of fresh pork sausages is that you can make into other dishes. I have used them in risottos very often but this time, I fancied pasta. I googled and discovered Mark Bittman’s recipe and have made a little twist out of it. I had once a red wine sauce spaghetti in the neighbourhood, this restaurant is called Cantina Toscana, it’s one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Basel. So a red wine sauce pasta does not sound odd to me. When the sauce is prepared, it seemed to taste a bit strong at first but when tossed in the spaghetti and parmesan, it tasted just right. This is certainly a great alternative pasta sauce comparing to the ordinary tomato, pesto or cream based pasta. If I have guests visiting next time, I would consider to make this for them.

Inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe in NY Times


  • 350g dried spaghetti
  • 2 Italian fresh pork sausages, remove skin and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 2 tbsp aceto balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsp dried parsley (you can use fresh one of course)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and more to serve on table
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Prepare the pork sausages, shallot, onion, lemon juice as described above.
  2. In a medium pan, without oil, place the pieces of pork sausage into the pan and cook at medium high heat, keep stirring until they are cooked. Transfer the sausage onto a bowl lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil came out of the sausages.
  3. Pour away the oil from the pan and then pour in the olive oil and heat it up. Add in the garlic and let it cook for a minute and then add in the shallots and cook for another minute. Stir from time to time.
  4. Add in the red wine and balsamic vinegar and sausages into the red wine mixture, bring to boil and then add in the sugar and cherry tomatoes. Cover and let the liquid simmer at medium heat.
  5. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water as instructed by the pack until al dente.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and reserve a little pasta water for thinning the sauce if necessary.
  7. Season the thickened sauce with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the cooked pasta into the sauce, toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and parsley, toss well and serve immediately.
  8. Sprinkle more parmesan cheese when serve if desired.


  • The sauce should just be enough to coat the pasta and not runny.
  • If desired, add a few drops of Tabasco.
  • If you have some arugula at home, you can to toss in a small handful to it.

11 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Italian sausage & red wine sauce

  1. I love pasta dishes such as this one. This is a great dish to keep going back to. I love plenty of grated cheese on mine. I know what you mean about time being a luxury … the kiddies take up the greater part of the day and it is hard to find the time to make anything too elaborate. But we still love them!!
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Apple Crisp- My Way =-.

  2. Very nice pasta! Putting wine in mix for sauce is a nice way of giving the kick in the taste of the spaghetti. Next week i’m going to visit restaurants with the best wines. I’ll try mixing different kinds of wines in making my own recipe too for my own business.

  3. Hi Janet, I just came over from Rosa reading your curry recipe. I know it’s been a very very long time since I last visited but I myself was tied up preparing my own cookbook which is finally being printed. I followed your posts about Mark on facebook whenever I took a five minute break to rest. I rarely left comments on facebook as that was a distraction at the time. Mark has grown into such a lovely baby you must be a very proud mum. Pasta is always my solution for a quick, easy and luscious meal.
    .-= Ivy´s last blog ..Greek Flavoured Waffles =-.

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