If you have spent any time rummaging around my blog, you know that I am a little obsessed with easy weeknight meals that can be made all in one pan. One pan = less dishes = more time to do other things. And thanks to the nature of cooking the dry pasta all in the same pan as the other ingredients, all of that starchy pasta water is automatically added to the dish with zero effort, making it creamy and comforting.
To up the ante on the creaminess, I added a little parmesan cheese and a splash of heavy cream at the end, but if you are dairy free, both could be omitted or you could use your favorite parmesan substitute and just omit the cream. I’ve made it all ways and it’s always delicious and a hit with my family. With our family of 5 (with 2 very picky eaters) this dish serves us all generously with a little bit leftover for lunch the next day.
One Pot Gluten Free Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta Skillet
- 1 lb ground Italian turkey sausage (can substitute chicken, beef, or pork sausage)
- 3 cups brown rice farfalle or penne noodles (measured dry) (I use Jovial)
- 1 – 24 oz jar spaghetti or marinara sauce (a couple ounces more or less in the jar won’t hurt)
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon fine salt)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flake (optional)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated or the kind from a can is fine too)
- A splash of heavy cream (2-3 tablespoons)
- In a high sided skillet or a medium saucepan with a lid, brown 1 lb Italian turkey sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up into small pieces.
- Add 3 cups dry brown rice farfalle or penne pasta, 2 1/4 cups water, 1 jar pasta sauce, 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and red pepper flake (optional).
- Stir, reduce heat to low-medium, place the lid on, and simmer 12-14 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- After 10 minutes, test a piece of pasta to see if it’s done to your liking. Replace the lid and cook 2 more minutes if the pasta is not done. Note: the pasta will continue to cook as it sits off the heat, so I tend to stop the cooking process when it’s a tiny bit less than al dente so the pasta will hold it’s shape and not turn to mush. Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and a splash of heavy cream (2-3 tablespoons). Serve.
Sticking: If you notice your pasta sticking to the bottom, you are cooking on too high of a heat, the jar of pasta sauce was less than 22 ounces, or the water wasn’t measured properly in the beginning. To fix this problem, reduce the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of water and replace the lid until the pasta is done cooking.
Using turkey sausage still in casings: If you cannot find ground Italian turkey sausage, you can use the same amount of Italian turkey (or chicken) sausage links. Just squeeze the sausage out of the casings into your pan instead.
Dairy Free option: To make this dish dairy free, stir in dairy free parmesan and simply omit the splash of cream. I have made it both ways, and both are super delicious.