Penne with Spicy Sausage Ragu Recipe

A wonderful winter meal. I usually prepare this on a weekend so the sauce can simmer for hours. If you don't like spicy food, substitute green pepper for the hot banana peppers and omit the hot pepper relish.


  • 1 lb. penne
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage, browned and sliced (casing removed)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup hot banana peppers, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. hot pepper relish (optional)
  • 16 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, peppers and mushrooms for 8 minutes or until tender. Mix in browned sausage and the Italian seasoning and continue to cook.

In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste with water, and add to the pot. Crush the whole tomatoes by hand and add to the pot. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and the hot pepper relish to the sauce pot. Stir sauce; reduce heat and simmer on low heat for 1 -2 hours. Sauce should have a medium thickness. You can add additional tomato paste if you would like a thicker consistency.

Serve over hot penne and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.