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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Rotelle con Salsiccia | Authentic Italian Sausage Pasta

While this hearty sausage sauce will work well with a variety of pasta shapes, we highly recommend giving it a shot with some rotelle pinwheels! It's hard to explain why, but anyone who tries this dish will instantly understand why it goes so well with the unusual shape.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Serves 2.

For this recipe, you will need

- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 1/4 white onion, diced

- 1/2 large carrot, diced

- 1/2 stalk celery, diced

- Red chili pepper flakes (optional)

- 1 large Italian sausage

- 1 bay leaf

- Ground cloves

- Salt

- Fresh black pepper

- 1/2 cup (120ml) red wine

- 1 tbsp tomato paste

- 5 canned whole peeled tomatoes, plus 2-3 spoonfuls of the purée

- 5.5 oz. (155g) rotelle pasta

- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for topping (optional)

In a skillet, bring the olive oil up to medium/high temperature and add the onion, carrot and celery. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is tender and slightly transparent. If you like spice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes!

Meanwhile, remove and discard the sausage lining. Add the sausage meat into the pan. Brown the meat while breaking it up into a fine crumble. As it cooks, add a bay leaf and a pinch of ground cloves, salt and pepper.

When the meat is browned, add the red wine into the pan. Bring to a simmer and allow it to reduce until most of the excess moisture has evaporated. Stir in the tomato paste. Crush the peeled tomatoes (including some puree) with a fork and add these in as well. Finish by pouring 1/2 cup (120ml) of water into the pan.

Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pan and allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes or until it thickens.

After the sauce has been cooking for about 10 minutes, bring a pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the pasta and cook as directed but for 1 minute less than the recommended "al dente" cook time.

As the sauce nears completion, salt it to taste. If the sauce thickens before the pasta is cooked, simply turn off the heat under the pan and let the sauce rest.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rotelle into the sauce. Stir all together over medium/high heat for about 1 minute. If the sauce has become too thick, simply add some of the pasta water as necessary to thin it.

Serve immediately, topped with grated Parmigiano cheese. Buon appetito!

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Linda Kirschbaum
Linda Kirschbaum
Jul 16, 2022

I made this the other day. It was delicious. The best part was my daughter was visiting and found the leftovers ( I know, you’re not a fan of leftover pasta, but it was too good to waste!) in the fridge. She warmed it up then proceeded devour it! I told her it was a new recipe . Her response was” You made it? I thought it was leftover takeout from Abruzzo Pizza“(Our local Italian restaurant) ! Thanks for the great recipe.


Mar 11, 2022

Hello from Tucson! This was universally loved by my whole family. It was so easy to make. I was wondering if the recipes were somewhere in a printable format. I find using the phone to hard to look at but a printed one page sheet is the best! Thanks again and keep up the great videos!


Feb 28, 2022

Delicious! I have to admit, though, I was shocked when my sausage turned purple as it cooked with the red wine. What on earth? was the color of eggplant! Your photos don’t reflect this... have you experienced anything similar when cooking with red wine?

Inèf K
Inèf K
Dec 07, 2023
Replying to

they often add red/purple coloring in industrial red wine to create a deeper color

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