This Ziti Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage recipe was inspired by my favorite little Italian restaurant down in Santa Barbara, CA. It’s the only thing I’ve ever ordered there, it’s that yummy!! My interpretation was equally as tasty!! I highly recommend this pasta dish to everyone that loves a hearty flavorful pasta dinner! Ziti Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage

We like spice, so I added a bit more than 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes. It had a little kick to it, but was really yummy! Adjust the red pepper flakes to your family’s spice level. Remember, you can add more if needed, but can’t take away once it’s been added.

I certainly remember the crazy busy days of young children. This is a perfect recipe that you can start early in the day and finish off about 30 minutes before serving. Simply make the sauce (do not cook the pasta yet) and come back to it later. About 30 minutes before you want to serve it: cook the pasta and start warming sauce on low. When the pasta is al-dente, add to warm sauce and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

**Pasta tip….add a little of your pasta cooking water to your sauce. The starch will help to thicken the sauce a bit.

ziti with sausage & onions-2

ziti with sausage & onions-3

Ziti Pasta with Sweet Italian Pasta
A hearty and flavorful pasta!
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
  1. 1# Ziti Pasta
  2. 1# Sweet Italian Sausage
  3. 2 TBSP olive oil
  4. 1 large yellow onion (peeled and chopped)
  5. 3 cloves fresh crushed garlic
  6. 1 28oz can San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  7. 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  8. 1 tsp dried basil
  9. 1 tsp dried oregano
  10. 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (start at 1/2 tsp and adjust to taste)
  11. 1/2 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp pepper
  13. Freshly grated parmesan
  1. Cook Ziti pasta according to box directions (under cook by 1-2 minutes, it will finish cooking in sauce). Drain, but do not rinse. Try to time pasta cooking with finishing of sauce cooking.
  2. Heat olive oil to med/high in large deep skillet (or dutch oven).
  3. Remove casing from sausage, and brown in skillet (crumbling and breaking apart as it cooks).
  4. Once sausage is nice and browned, remove from skillet (using slotted spoon) and set aside.
  5. Add chopped onion to skillet (reduce heat to med) and saute for a couple minutes, scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add in fresh chopped garlic. Continue to sauté until onions are tender.
  6. Add sausage back to skillet.
  7. Add tomatoes (crushing by hand as you add them), tomato sauce, and dried spices.
  8. Cook for approx 1/2 hour over med/low heat, stirring often.
  9. Adjust spices to taste **(remember that you can add more chili flakes, but can't remove the heat if you over do it).
  10. Add al-dente cooked pasta to sauce pot, simmer on low for approx 15 minutes.
  11. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.
Her View From Home

Joy In Every Season

Renee is a wife (34 years and going strong), a mom (to three grown daughters and two son-in-laws), and Nana to four of the sweetest grand babies (# 5 is due in July). I am truly blessed! I am born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA and a fun little fact about me is that my husband and I went to kindergarten together. I love entertaining, whether it’s hosting a party, a large family BBQ, or simply a dinner for two. I also enjoy gardening, photography, my home, an occasional craft, and family & friends. Cooking and serving others in the comfort of my home truly brings me joy! After I retired from newborn photography, I decided that a food blog would combine many of my passions, thus "Joy in Every Season" was born! For a little more information on my, please check out the "about me" page at: A favorite quote of mine is, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck