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18 Easy Red Sauce Pasta Recipes for Busy Nights

Welcome to a culinary journey where we explore the vibrant world of red sauce pasta! Perfect for any level of cooking expertise, these 18 easy red sauce pasta recipes are ideal for all occasions. Featuring a variety of flavors and ingredients to satisfy your pasta cravings, each recipe is designed to be simple, delicious, and adaptable to suit your taste.

So, grab your apron, and embark on the delightful experience of creating red sauce pasta dishes that are sure to become your new favorites!

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Classic Red Sauce Pasta

This delicious Red Sauce Pasta is a classic! A homemade tomato sauce that takes under 30 minutes to make. Packed with flavor this will be your go-to red sauce recipe. 

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 red bell peppers (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano – see note 1
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28oz/800g can) – see note 2
  • 1 teaspoon sugar – see note 3
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 14 oz pasta – see note 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan, skillet or saute pan.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers and salt. Cook these for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until soft.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and oregano, then cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Tip the contents of the pan into the blender or food processor, add the canned tomatoes, sugar and black pepper, then whizz until the sauce is pureed to your liking.
  5. Return the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the sauce just before you add it to the pasta.
To cook the pasta (whilst the sauce is simmering)
  • Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook the pasta as the packet suggests.
  • Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.
  • Return it to the pan and add the red pasta sauce.
  • Stir gently over low heat to combine the pasta, add a splash of the cooking water if needed.


  1. Nonna Gaia uses fresh oregano, but that can be harder to find. If you have fresh oregano, add it to the blender with the tomatoes and use 1 tablespoon.
  2. Use good quality canned tomatoes, they are the essence of the red sauce, so you want the best you can afford.
  3. Canned tomatoes can vary in sweetness and acidity, so I like to balance the acidity with some sugar. Feel free to leave it out or use less if your tomatoes are sweet enough.
  4. Any pasta will work here, penne, rigatoni, ziti fusilli, shells or long pasta like spaghetti or linguine.

Ground Turkey Spaghetti

This Ground Turkey Spaghetti is a simple, flavorful, satisfying dinner that is protein packed and rocks 3 added vegetables (grated carrot, grated zucchini + chopped spinach). It is done cooking in just 20 minutes, making it the perfect healthier comfort food to whip up on those nights when you just need an easy win.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 ounces spaghetti, broken in half, or pasta of choice. You can use gluten free if needs
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced. About 1 cup
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated. About 1½ cups loose packed after grating. Do not squeeze out the moisture.
  • 1 large carrot, peeled + grated. About 1½ cups
  • 1 pound ground turkey, I used 93%
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups finely chopped spinach, or ¾ cup thawed frozen spinach
  • 1½ cups pasta sauce
  • 14.5 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • fresh basil, finely chopped + optional garnish


  1. Cook pasta in a pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Save 1 cup of cooking water before draining.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat.
  3. Once hot, add the onions, grated zucchini, and, grated carrots. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies start to soften.
  4. Crumble the ground turkey into the pot/skillet with the veggies. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano. Cook, breaking apart the meat with a large wooden spoon, until cooked. About 7 minutes.
  5. Add garlic to the pot/skillet and cook for 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, spinach and ½ cup pasta water to the pot/skillet and stir to combine.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes or until spinach has wilted. If you would like the sauce to be thinner, stir in the remaining ½ cup of water and simmer for a couple extra minutes.
  8. Stir in cooked and drained pasta until it is evenly distributed in the veggie turkey mixture
  9. Portion out and top with fresh basil, if using.
  10. Allow leftovers to cool before transferring to an air-tight container and storing in your fridge for up to 4 days. Or place ground turkey pasta into an air-tight, freezer-safe container and freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in your fridge when you are ready to enjoy or defrost in your microwave for a last minute veggie-loaded dinner.

Red Sauce Spaghetti With Shrimp

This truly is the BEST red sauce spaghetti recipe. If you are looking for a quick and tasty dinner loaded with shrimp, you must bookmark this 20-minute red sauce spaghetti recipe. 

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings


  • 200 gram spaghetti pasta
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb mix (oregano, thyme, sage)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 200 gram shrimps/prawns (cleaned and deveined)
  • 1 Cup tomato marinara or arabiatta sauce
  • ½ Cup boiled pasta water
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon green onion or chives, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to packet directions, but reduce the cooking time by 1 minute (because the pasta will cook further in the sauce as well). Hence, it is best to cook pasta al dente.
  2. Reserve 1 Cup of boiled pasta water, drain the remaining water from the pasta. Rinse pasta with water to stop the cooking process. Set aside in a metal colander.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, Italian herb, chili flakes, and saute for 20 – 30 seconds to infuse the flavor into the oil. No need to brown the garlic.
  4. Add shrimps, and saute till they are fully cooked. Shrimp does not take a long time to cook. They are fully cooked in 5 – 6 minutes.
  5. Add the red pasta sauce, salt, pepper, boiled pasta water, and quickly stir. Simmer the sauce for 5 – 6 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning if required.
  6. Add boiled pasta and gently toss to coat it with the sauce. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  7. Garnish pasta with fresh basil leaves or chives or green onion.
  8. Serve red sauce spaghetti with a toasted bread slice.


  • Any good quality tomato pasta sauce such as marinara or arrabbiata works for this recipe.  
  • Adding shrimp is optional. Or you can substitute shrimp with clams, squid, prawns, or any other seafood of choice. 
  • Pasta absorbs a lot of sauce and liquid, hence adjust the quantity of sauce according to your pasta amount. 

Authentic Red Sauce Pasta

This red sauce pasta recipe is full of classic Italian flavor! Simmer up this tasty dish with pure, simple ingredients.

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano or best quality
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 6 large basil leaves, plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces pasta
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, to garnish (or vegan Parmesan)
  • Red pepper flakes, to garnish


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the salt, sugar, oregano and basil and blend until combined. 
  3. Return to the saucepan and simmer partially covered until thickened to the desired consistency, 15 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt as desired. (Variations: Stir in red pepper flakes, a splash of cream, grated Parmesan cheese, or a splash of balsamic vinegar if desired.)
  4. Serve all 3 cups of the tomato sauce with 12 ounces pasta, and top with Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, and/or red pepper flakes. Sauce stores refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for 3 months.

Vegetarian Red Sauce Pasta

I love this easy vegetable spaghetti recipe! It tastes incredible and is loaded with over 1 ½ pounds of vegetables. This vegetarian pasta is so good that I could honestly eat it every day.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

You Will Need

  • 12 ounces (340g) spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (140g) chopped onion
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, about  1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • One (12oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 1 cup
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons mushroom powder, optional, see tips
  • 5 cups (226g) spinach leaves
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for serving



  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet with sides over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but still with some crunch, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute.
  4. Add the roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and mushroom powder. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. As the sauce cooks, use a spoon to break the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces for a chunky sauce.


  1. While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Take the sauce off of the heat, and then stir in the spinach and basil. Taste then adjust with additional salt if needed.
  3. Toss in the cooked pasta, and then leave for a minute so that the pasta absorbs some of the sauce and the spinach wilts. Toss again, and then serve with parmesan or nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.


  • Salting to taste: Tomato sauces usually need quite a bit of salt. If you taste the sauce and the flavor does not pop, it probably needs more salt. I use between 1 and 1 ½ teaspoons of fine sea salt when making this vegetable tomato sauce.
  • Substitutes for mushroom powder: Try a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce, or chop mushrooms and add them to the pan along with the onions.

Indian-style Red Sauce Pasta – Masala Pasta

Masala pasta is a flavorful fusion dish combining Italian pasta with Indian spices. This recipe creates a spicy, tangy, and creamy pasta that’s perfect for a quick meal.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings


  • 1½ cups penne pasta
  • 2-2½ tbsp olive oil or butter
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (grated/minced)
  • ½ inch ginger (optional, grated/minced)
  • ½-¾ tsp salt (+1 tsp for boiling pasta)
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric (optional)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 1-1½ tbsp tomato ketchup (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp cream or ¼ cup grated cheese (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)
  • ½ cup onions (chopped)
  • 1¼ cup tomatoes (chopped/pureed)
  • ½ cup carrots (chopped)
  • ¼ cup green peas (frozen/boiled)
  • ¼ cup capsicum (chopped)
  • 2-4 tbsp sweet corn kernels or baby corn (optional)


  1. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente.
  2. Heat oil & butter, add cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger. Sauté.
  3. Add onions, sauté until golden.
  4. Add chopped veggies, sauté 2-3 mins.
  5. Add spices, salt, tomatoes, and ketchup (optional). Cook until tomatoes soften.
  6. Add reserved pasta water, cook until thick.
  7. Add kasuri methi & cooked pasta. Cook until hot.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Red Sauce Pasta and Chicken

This chicken tomato pasta is a super easy and delicious meal, just perfect for a busy weeknight. It has tender chicken pieces and a super flavorful tomato sauce that the entire family will love!

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 250 g pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (20 g) butter
  • 12 oz (350 g) chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • ½ lb (225 g) closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14 oz / 400 g each) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups (75 g) baby spinach
  • ⅓ cup (40 g) grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan and melt the butter in it.
  3. Add the chicken, season with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until slightly golden.
  4. Add the onion and mushrooms and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through and reduced in size.
  5. Stir in the garlic, red chili flakes, dried basil and dried oregano and cook for another minute.
  6. Next, add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it bubble for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the baby spinach and simmer for 1 more minute, then transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it well.
  8. Stir in the grated Parmesan, season to taste and serve with some extra grated Parmesan on top if you like.

Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

This is an Italian-style pasta sauce with homemade meatballs that’s cooked slowly over low heat for an intense tomato flavor. It’s easy to make the spaghetti sauce ahead of time; gently reheat and add meatballs 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve with your favorite pasta.

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings



  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • ¾ cup chopped onion 
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Pasta Bake

A quick creamy tomato sauce, tender noodles topped with lots of cheese; this pasta bake casseroles is a cinch to put together.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 pound penne or rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce or pasta sauce
  • 14 ½ ounces petite diced tomatoes drained
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta in salted water al dente according to the package directions and drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add cream, tomatoes and marinara sauce. Simmer 2 minutes.
  4. Place pasta in a 9×13 pan. Add sauce and toss to combine.
  5. Top with shredded cheese and bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and cheese is bubbly.
  6. Remove from the oven, cool 5 minutes and top with fresh herbs.


  • Cook pasta to al dente (firm) as it will cook a bit more in the oven.
  • If you prefer a creamier sauce, add ⅓ cup extra cream.
  • Cooked meat such as rotisserie chicken, ham, or ground sausage can be added. Add any cheese you have on hand on top of this dish.
  • Do not overbake or the dish can become dry.

One-Pot Red Sauce Pasta

This simple one-pot pasta is super cozy and comforting with your pasta of choice, mixed vegetables, and a creamy tomato sauce. All you need is ONE pot or pan and 20 minutes for this dairy-free, vegan, versatile, creamy pasta recipe!

  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings


  • 8 oz (225 g) dry pasta, gluten-free or regular
  • 1/2 tbsp veggie bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small/medium (120 g) onion, red or yellow, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cup (120 g) broccoli florets
  • 1 cup (125 g) zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup (85 g) red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 g) passata
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) canned coconut milk


  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot (or skillet with deep sides) and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and set the timer to 12 minutes. Cook until the pasta is al-dente, stirring every few minutes. Depending on the type and shape of the pasta, the cooking time will vary. Note that gluten-free noodles/ pasta usually takes less time, and larger/thicker pasta varieties may take longer.
  3. Serve in bowls, garnish with fresh herbs like parsley, and enjoy!

Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

This tomato spinach chicken pasta recipe is delicious with tender pan-fried chicken nestled in a creamy tomato spinach sauce. It’s quick and easy for busy weeknights!

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving, to taste


  1. Boil a large, salted pot of water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you’ve got 4 thinner pieces. Season both sides of each piece with the garlic powder and salt & pepper.
  3. Add the butter and olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes, then cook the chicken for about 5 minutes/side or until it’s cooked through, then transfer the chicken to a plate.
  4. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, cream, and Italian seasoning. Stir until it’s nice and smooth. Reduce the heat to medium. Let the sauce cook for about 3-5 minutes (let it gently bubble and it will thicken up a bit).
  6. Meanwhile, cut the chicken up into strips.
  7. Season the sauce with some salt & pepper, then add in the chicken and spinach and let it warm through for a minute or two.
  8. If the sauce gets too thick, add in a splash of the hot pasta water prior to draining it. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce (I add the pasta back to the pot it was cooked in and then pour the skillet contents into the pot). Serve immediately with parmesan cheese over top.

Bacon Tomato Pasta

This Bacon Tomato Pasta is a quick and easy dish perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something delicious but don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. 

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the pasta
  • 12 oz pasta -see note 1
  • 1 tablespoon salt
For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 oz bacon, diced – see note 2
  • 1 onion, finely chopped – see note 3
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped – see note 4
  • 14 oz canned crushed tomato
  • ½ teaspoon sugar – see note 5
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Shredded parmesan
  • Fresh parsley


To cook the pasta
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the bowl. Add the salt and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet suggests.
  2. When cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.
While the pasta water is coming to a boil
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes; reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and stir around for 30 seconds. Then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir well.
  3. Add in the seasonings and turn the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer while the pasta finishes cooking.
Finish the dish
  1. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water.
  2. Gently toss the pasta in the sauce over medium heat for a minute until the pasta is thoroughly coated and combined with the sauce. Add more pasta cooking water if the sauce gets too thick.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with shredded parmesan and fresh parsley if desired.


  1. I like to use spaghetti or linguine, but you can use any shape you have at home.
  2. Use smoked bacon for the most flavor. It doesn’t need to be fancy bacon; you can use turkey bacon if you like.
  3. I use a brown onion, but you can also use a red, white, or yellow onion.
  4. The recipe calls for three cloves of garlic. But as I always say, we measure garlic with our hearts, so add more if you want.
  5. This balances the sour edge that you get from a lot of brands of canned tomatoes. Especially important because of the quick cook. I use white granulated sugar.

Tomato Mushroom Pasta

A simple yet absolutely delicious mushroom pasta recipe in a tasty tomato sauce.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 12oz / 350g Short Cut Pasta
  • 14oz / 400g Mushrooms (of choice), sliced
  • 2x 14oz / 400g cans of good quality Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1oz / 30g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
  • 3 fat cloves of Garlic, very finely sliced
  • 1 small Onion, finely diced
  • 1 small bunch of Parsley, finely diced (around 3-4tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Dried Basil, Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to spice preference
  • Salt & Black Pepper, as needed
  • 2.5 tbsp Olive Oil, or as needed


  1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil in a large deep pan over medium heat, then place in half your mushrooms. Leave to brown on one side, then use tongs to flip them over and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue frying until golden brown on the other side, then remove to a side bowl and repeat with the second batch, adding more oil as needed. Remove again once done. It’s important not to cram in the mushrooms or they’ll steam and lose flavour. Also important to not move them about too much or they won’t brown properly.
  2. Keeping the pan on medium heat, add another drizzle of oil then add in onion. Fry until soft and just starting to pick up colour, then add in garlic and fry for another couple of mins. Add tomato paste (puree) and stir & fry for 1-2 more mins.
  3. Add in chopped tomatoes and swill out the cans with around 1/2cup/120ml water. Add back in the mushrooms, then add in most of your parsley (save some to garnish), oregano, basil, chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Give it all a good stir, then leave on a very gentle simmer for 35-40mins or until nice and thick. This is important to marry all the flavours together.
  5. Just before the sauce is done, add your pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water before draining.
  6. Stir pasta into the sauce, then stir in parmesan. If you need to loosen up the sauce add in a splash of starchy pasta water, if not just discard.
  7. Serve with any extra parsley & parmesan then tuck in and enjoy!

Penne all’Arrabbiata (spicy tomato pasta)

 “Arrabbiata” means “angry” in Italian and refers to how the spiciness of this classic Italian pasta! I love how this simple dish is made interesting with a good kick of chilli. To be authentic, use whole peeled tomatoes and mash them up with a fork. For convenience, I use crushed tomatoes

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 400g/ 14oz penne or ziti , or other pasta of choice (short or long)
  • 1 tbsp cooking / kosher salt , for cooking pasta
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves , finely minced
  • 1 red cayenne pepper chilli , finely chopped (with seeds) (Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (red pepper flakes)
  • 800g / 28 oz canned crushed tomato
  • 1 1/4 tsp cooking / kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar , only if needed (Note 3)
  • parmesan , finely grated
  • 2 tsp finely chopped parsley , optional


  1. Sauté – Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add cayenne and chilli flakes. Cook for 1 minute, or until garlic is light golden.
  2. Add tomato, salt and pepper. Rinse out the tomato cans with the water and add into the pot.
  3. Simmer – Turn up the heat to high, stir, then once it comes to a simmer, turn back down to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. (Taste check at 10 min – if sour, add the sugar.)
  4. Cook pasta – Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil with the 1 tablespoon of salt. Add pasta and cook per packet directions.
  5. Save water – Just before draining, give the pot a big stir (to agitate the starch) then scoop out 1 cup of the water and set aside. (Note 4) Drain pasta.
  6. Toss – Add pasta into the sauce along with 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Toss well (still on the stove) until the pasta is coated with the pasta sauce. Use extra pasta cooking water if needed, to loosen.
  7. Serve – Divide between bowls and serve immediately with parmesan and parsley, if using.

Recipe Notes:

1. SPICINESS – Has a fair kick to it, as it is supposed to! It’s between medium and medium-hot. Not blow-your-head-off. To reduce spiciness, de-seed the cayenne pepper (most spiciness is in the seeds) – this will reduce closer to medium. To reduce further/easy way to control, omit the cayenne pepper. Start with a small amount of chilli flakes then get the sauce simmering. At the 10 minute mark, taste and add more chilli flakes, bit by bit, until you hit your threshold!

2. Cayenne peppers are large red chillis. They are not overly spicy – general rule is the smaller the chilli, the spicier they are. See above for spiciness note.

3. Sugar – Not all canned tomatoes are created equal. The better the quality, the sweeter they are. 🙂 Only use sugar if required.

4. Reserving/using pasta cooking water – Essential pasta cooking step every Italian does instinctively for every pasta recipe! Starch in the pasta cooking water helps the sauce thicken and cling to the pasta instead of sitting in a watery pool in the bottom of your pasta bowl.

Italian Sausage Pasta

Amazing Italian Sausage Pasta is the best dish for Italian night! This meat sauce recipe is made with a flavorful Italian sausage, a delicious homemade marinara, and is super easy. Make it for the family tonight or meal prep it for the week!

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 pounds ground Italian sausage, (mild or hot)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine, (or 1/4 cup tomato juice)
  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles, (or other preferred pasta)
  • Optional, Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley to garnish


  1. In a large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened.
  2. Stir in garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Stir well and bring to a low boil. Stir in red wine. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for at least an hour.
  3. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Spoon meat sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Ground Beef Pasta Skillet

This ground beef pasta recipe can be made in under 30 minutes with any pasta you have and tastes like it’s been simmered all day long on the stove. A true weeknight dinner superstar!

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta, shape of choice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup broth, chicken, beef or vegetable
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper
  • splash of milk, any kind
  • 1 cup grated pecorino romano, or parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes until starting to soften.
  3. Add the ground beef and garlic to the pan and cook until the beef is browned, breaking apart with a spatula.
  4. At this point, add the pasta to the pot with the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  5. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, dijon, diced tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 5-7 minutes while the pasta cooks then add the milk and grated cheese. Stir to combine.
  7. Drain the pasta then add to the skillet with the ground beef. Toss together until well mixed then top with parsley to serve.

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (GF)

10-ingredient roasted red pepper pasta with a creamy, savory-sweet red pepper sauce and fresh parsley. Light, healthy, and simple, yet incredibly satisfying.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 (~119 g each) red bell peppers
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (or other thickener of choice)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flake (optional // for heat)
  • 12 ounces gluten-free linguini or spaghetti noodles (or other noodle of choice)
FOR SERVING optional
  • Vegan parmesan cheese
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley or basil


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees F (260 C) and roast red peppers on a baking sheet until charred – about 25-30 minutes. Cover in foil for 10 minutes to steam, then remove (peel away) charred skin, seeds and stems. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain, toss in a touch of olive oil, cover with a towel and set aside.
  3. While the red peppers are roasting, bring a large skillet over medium heat and sauté shallot and garlic in olive oil until golden brown and soft – about 4-5 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Transfer sautéed shallot and garlic to blender with roasted peppers, almond milk, red pepper flake, nutritional yeast and cornstarch. Season with desired amount of salt, pepper, and red pepper flake.
  5. Blend until creamy and smooth, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or nutritional yeast for flavor. You want the flavor to be pretty robust and strong since the noodles don’t have much flavor – so be generous with your seasonings.
  6. Once blended, place sauce back in the skillet over medium heat to thicken. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering.
  7. Once sauce is thickened to desired consistency (see photo), add noodles. However, before tossing add a touch more olive oil, salt and pepper to the un-tossed noodles for added flavor. Then, toss to coat.
  8. Serve with (generous amounts of) vegan parmesan, red pepper flake, and fresh chopped parsley or basil.

Alfredo Marinara Pasta

The perfect marriage of two fan favorites – marinara sauce and Alfredo sauce. This commingling is rich yet light, tangy and buttery, and embraces the pasta like satin. I’m confident this simple sauce will be become a household staple for you. Especially because the recipe is unbelievably quick and easy. 

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound pasta of choice, I used bowties (also called farfalle)
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or 1/2 teaspoon each oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Alfredo sauce
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving
  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley for serving, optional


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, whisk together the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the Alfredo sauce, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Fold the pasta into the sauce and stir to coat. Serve with parmesan cheese and basil or parsley (if using). 
18 Easy Red Sauce Pasta Recipes

18 Easy Red Sauce Pasta Recipes


  • Classic Red Sauce Pasta
  • Ground Turkey Spaghetti
  • Red Sauce Spaghetti With Shrimp
  • Authentic Red Sauce Pasta
  • Vegetarian Red Sauce Pasta
  • Indian-style Red Sauce Pasta – Masala Pasta
  • Red Sauce Pasta and Chicken
  • Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
  • Creamy Tomato Pasta Bake
  • One-Pot Red Sauce Pasta
  • Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
  • Bacon Tomato Pasta
  • Tomato Mushroom Pasta
  • Penne all’Arrabbiata (spicy tomato pasta)
  • Italian Sausage Pasta
  • Ground Beef Pasta Skillet
  • Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (GF)
  • Alfredo Marinara Pasta


  1. Pick your favorite recipe
  2. Gather all the needed ingredients
  3. Prep and enjoy


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I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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