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Wooden spoon stirring rigatoni and tomato sauce in a light grey pot.

One Pot Spicy Tomato Pasta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American


This easy one pot spicy tomato pasta is ready in half an hour with a few kitchen staples!


  • 1 pound pasta (we used rigatoni)
  • 1 pound uncooked spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of very salty water until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, set aside, and return pot to the stove over medium-high heat.
  3. Add Italian sausage to pot and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break it into pieces as it cooks.
  4. When sausage is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove sausage to a separate bowl or plate. Leave any remaining fat or oil in the pot - you'll use it to cook the onion and garlic in the next step!
  5. Add onion and garlic to pot. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine.
  7. Add red wine to pot to deglaze. Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  8. Add balsamic vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and cooked Italian sausage to pot. Stir to combine.
  9. Bring sauce to a simmer. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  10. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Serve immediately.


Additions and Substitutions. Use vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water in place of the red wine if you like. If you plan to let the sauce simmer for more than 20 minutes, add an extra 1/4 cup of wine or water so the sauce doesn't thicken too much. Save a few splashes of pasta water if you like - add to the sauce when you toss the pasta back in to help the sauce coat the pasta. Use ground chicken, ground turkey, rotisserie chicken, meatballs, or shrimp in place of the Italian sausage if you like. Add your favorite veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, peas) or greens (kale, spinach, arugula) to the sauce to make it heartier.

Ingredients and Equipment. We like a rich red wine in this recipe - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, and Shiraz are all good options. We used this 6-quart Dutch oven for the photos in this post. We also love Le Creuset and Lodge Dutch ovens.

To adjust the spice level, substitute mild Italian sausage or regular ground pork for the hot Italian sausage. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your taste.

To make this a baked pasta, place in an oven-safe dish (we use a Dutch oven!), top with shredded mozzarella, and bake until the cheese melts for a delicious pasta bake!

Make-Ahead Tips: Make sauce on its own and freeze for up to 6 months. See the post above for more make-ahead tips!

Serve this pasta with grated parmesan cheese and a lemon Dijon arugula salad for an easy dinner. Add a loaf of small batch crusty bread or some quick gruyere biscuits on the side!