This delectable skillet meal is made with ground pork, bursting with delicious Italian flavors. It’s the ultimate weeknight dinner option that’s quick, easy, and loved by the whole family. In under 30 minutes, you can enjoy a comforting one-pot dish brimming with pasta, ground pork, fragrant Italian seasonings, and Parmesan cheese. It’s simply irresistible!
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council, allowing us to share this delightful skillet meal recipe with you. Did you know that Ohio has over 3500 family pork farms? These farms produce enough pork to feed more than 25 million people!
Is Ground Pork the Same as Sausage?
Ground pork is distinct from sausage. Sausage is actually seasoned ground pork. Ground pork can be found in the fresh meat section of your local grocery store. Each 3-ounce serving of pork is packed with 22-24 grams of protein (depending on the cut), making it a fantastic source of fuel that keeps you feeling satisfied.
In this recipe, we opt for ground pork and add our preferred seasonings. Pre-seasoned sausage often contains sugar, so using ground pork allows you to keep the sugar content under control and save it for your dessert.
- Butter: While olive oil is an option, nothing compares to the savory richness that butter adds to this pasta dish.
- Shallot & Garlic: If shallots are unavailable, a sweet white onion will work just as well.
- Ground Pork: Ground pork is extremely lean, so there’s minimal fat to drain after browning. Try swapping ground beef for ground pork in your favorite casseroles.
- Seasonings: This recipe boasts an array of seasonings that create its incredible flavor. Black pepper, parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, fennel, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes (for a spicy kick), and salt.
- Chicken Broth: This liquid helps to cook the pasta and adds flavor, surpassing the use of water alone.
- Half & Half: Half and half cream is a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream, lending a creamy texture to the sausage pasta.
- Tomatoes: Petite diced tomatoes work best, especially if you have picky eaters who prefer smaller tomato pieces.
- Pasta: Any pasta shape will suffice, but penne pasta is used in this particular recipe. Rotini works wonderfully too.
- Spinach: Fresh spinach or even kale adds a vibrant touch of color to this dish.
- Parmesan: Grate a block of parmesan finely to achieve smooth melting. Pre-grated parmesan from a canister won’t produce the same results.
How to Make Creamy Sausage Pasta
- Sauté the onions, garlic, and butter: Melt the butter in a large skillet, pot, or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing for 3-4 minutes until the shallot turns translucent and soft.
- Brown and Crumble the Pork: Incorporate the ground pork, black pepper, parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, fennel seed, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes until the pork is thoroughly browned. Drain any excess fat.
- Simmer: Pour in the chicken broth, half & half, and diced tomatoes (drained). Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
Cook the Pasta: Add the pasta and cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until it reaches an al dente texture. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
Add Cheese: Reduce the heat to low and gradually sprinkle in the grated parmesan cheese, stirring between each addition to ensure complete melting before adding more.
- Stir in the Spinach: Allow the dish to rest for a minute or two, allowing the spinach to slightly wilt.
- Garnish and Serve: Finish off by topping the dish with fresh basil and serving immediately.
- For a gluten-free version of this recipe, use gluten-free pasta.
- Add diced peppers, such as red bell peppers, to the shallots for a different flavor profile. You can also incorporate diced jalapeño peppers for some heat.
- Enhance the flavor and texture by adding mushrooms to the dish.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Due to the dairy content, this recipe doesn’t freeze well.
To reheat leftovers, simply microwave them until warmed through.
Indulge in this creamy ground pork sausage pasta skillet, brought to you by Hook’d Up Bar and Grill. It’s a delightful combination of flavors that will leave you craving more!