Pasta with Sausage, Basil, and Mustard


In matching spicy sausage with a creamy mustard sauce and fragrant basil, British cookbook author Nigel Slater created a quick pasta supper with warm, mildly spicy flavors.

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
4 servings

In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best. The pasta with sausage and mustard is perfect for a cool fall or winter evening and comes together quickly, so it's as suited for a busy weeknight as it is a cozy weekend. Don't be suspicious of the dish's flavor combination; although grainy mustard, spicy sausage, crisp white wine, and fragrant basil may seem like an odd assortment to accompany pasta, the finished product is greater than the sum of its parts, a synchronized medley of tastes and textures that you'll be craving again and again.

Not only is this sausage pasta recipe fast to prepare, it necessitates just a handful of ingredients, many of which you likely already have. Any medium-sized pasta shape will do, though you'll want to use one with adequate nooks and crannies for hanging onto the creamy mustard sauce. For even speedier prep, buy Italian sausage patties instead of links to save you the trouble of removing the casings. You'll use less than a cup of wine here, which is a great way to polish off an open bottle if you happen to have one in the fridge. Fresh basil is the only thing you'll need to slice; don't skimp on it — it provides both flavor and pops of color to the mustard pasta.


  • 1 pound penne, rigatoni, or medium shells

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 8 hot Italian sausages, meat removed from casings and crumbled (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • 1 cup thinly sliced basil


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sausage meat and brown over moderately high heat, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, mustard, and crushed red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the pasta and basil, and toss to coat. Serve at once.

Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard.

© Greg DuPree

Suggested pairing

The ripe flavors of a soft, round California Merlot best complement this hearty pasta.

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