Sausage and Tomato Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

This is a fairly standard pasta dish, but the dollops of whipped ricotta on top were kind of a revelation to me. Honestly, I have never been a huge ricotta fan. The sort of grainy texture and not much flavor never really impressed me and I’m not a huge fan of typical lasagna for that reason. I really love this lasagna though. 🙂 Whipped ricotta, seasoned with some salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan, was super delicious on top of and mixed into this dish.

I used some turkey Italian sausage in this, which I hadn’t used before and wasn’t sure I’d like, but was pleasantly surprised by it. It tasted like Italian sausage and was lower in fat and calories. Definitely don’t skip the fresh basil on this one. Since it is a simple dish, it needs the pop of fresh basil flavor, along with the whipped ricotta to make it interesting.

Sausage and Tomato Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

Shells with Italian sausage, tomato sauce, basil, parm and whipped ricotta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Servings 4 servings


  • 3/4 lb medium or large shell pasta
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage pork or turkey
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cup chopped greens – kale, spinach, etc fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup basil julienned
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese whipped with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parm to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parm


  • Cook pasta according to instructions and reserve some pasta water to use in the sauce.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium and take the sausage out of the casings and cook, breaking apart, until browned and cooked through. Add the shallots and garlic and cook another few minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes as well as the greens and the rest of the seasonings, except the basil and ricotta. Thin with pasta water as needed to create a thick sauce and simmer for a few minutes while you make the whipped ricotta.
  • In a small food processor or with a blender wand, whip the ricotta with the seasonings to taste until it is smooth and fluffy.
  • Add pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Ladle into a bowl and top with whipped ricotta, basil and grated parm.
Keyword Lunch, Main Dish, Pasta

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