Shells with Tomatoes and Sausage


As much as I love red sauce, my guys could take it or leave it. So Shells with Tomatoes and Sausage is the perfect compromise. It has all of the tomato flavor, chunks of sweet Italian sausage, and is flavored with fresh rosemary, garlic, and crushed red pepper. This light sauce allows all of the flavors to shine. It tastes like the perfect Sunday dinner to me.


Ingredients for Shells with Tomatoes and Sausage:


1 pound shell pasta, cooked according to package and 1 cup of cooking water reserved

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 - 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup grated Locatelli Romano

kosher salt

black pepper


Time-Saving Tip: Microwave and slice the sausage up to an hour before proceeding with the recipe. Drain and dice the tomatoes in advance.


Let's see what we need.

We're ready to cook.



Drain the tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Dice the tomatoes; they will release juice. Set the diced tomatoes and released juices aside in a bowl.


Place the sausages on a microwave-safe dish and cover—Cook in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the sausages and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes, and slice.


Add the oil and sausages to a non-stick pan. Cook until both sides are golden. Stir in the rosemary, garlic, and crushed red pepper until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.


Add the diced tomatoes and the juice they released. Add 4-5 tablespoons of reserved tomato liquid from draining the can of tomatoes. Use the rest of the liquid for a future soup, sauce, or drink. Cook a couple of minutes until the juices have thickened. Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water and stir.


Gently stir in the pasta and coat with the sauce. Toss with the cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper as need and add a little more pasta water if it is too dry.


It's ready! Shells with Tomatoes and Pasta is perfect for Sunday dinner.


Shells with Tomatoes and Sausage:


  • 1 pound shell pasta, cooked according to package and 1 cup of cooking water reserved

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage

  • 1 - 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup grated Locatelli Romano

  • kosher salt

  • black pepper

  • Drain the tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Dice the tomatoes; they will release juice. Set the diced tomatoes and released juices aside in a bowl.

  • Place the sausages on a microwave-safe dish and cover—Cook in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the sausages and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes, and slice.

  • Add the oil and sausages to a non-stick pan. Cook until both sides are golden. Stir in the rosemary, garlic, and crushed red pepper until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.

  • Add the diced tomatoes and the juice they released. Add 4-5 tablespoons of reserved tomato liquid from draining the can of tomatoes. Use the rest of the liquid for a future soup, sauce, or drink. Cook a couple of minutes until the juices have thickened. Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water and stir.

  • Gently stir in the pasta and coat with the sauce. Toss with the cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper as need and add a little more pasta water if it is too dry.

  • Time-Saving Tip: Microwave and slice the sausage up to an hour before proceeding with the recipe. Drain and dice the tomatoes in advance.