Creamy Shell Pasta with Sausage Recipe

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x



  • 1 lb large shells (not jumbo)
  • 1 lb ground sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb ground spicy Italian sausage (optional)
  • 16 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 34 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch, crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shredded Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large lidded saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add sausage to the skillet. Use the end of a spatula to break the sausage into small chunks, cooking until browned and fully cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  2. Add marinara, wine, and basil. Cover and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook shells al dente.
  4. Strain shells and add to the sauce along with the cream. Let simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.


This can be made dairy free by using homemade cashew cream in place of cream. It’s just as creamy and delicious.