A DASH of Cooking: Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta with Red Grapes

Spicy Italian sausage pasta with juicy red grapes and caramelized onions makes a delicious and unique dinner

a bowl of washed red grapes
I may have washed a few extra for the inevitable snacking.

An Unusually Delicious Sausage Pasta

This pasta is high on my comfort foods list and perfect for these fall days as the weather gets chillier and darker.  I first came across this recipe over 10 years ago shortly after graduating college.  I was trying to find things that were easy to make and healthy.  Right now, this recipe is so much in my rotation that I end up making this pasta at least once a month, it’s such a reliable and fast dish.  Even during the hottest days of August, I will still make and eat this pasta.  It’s just that good and easy to make.  I love this most with a glass of rose, though sometimes I am so into the pasta I forget to stop and drink my wine. 

Red onions cooking in a skillet
These onions are more orange in color because of the sausage grease they are cooking in.

This pasta is made with orecchiette, thinly sliced red onion, juicy red grapes, and spicy Italian sausage.  Topped with fresh parsley, basil, and parmesan cheese, this pasta packs a lot of flavor using a handful of ingredients.  I definitely recommend going the distance and getting fresh herbs for garnish and reheating, it really makes all the difference in the flavor.  This pasta will keep for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Red grapes and onions cooking in a skillet
It seems unusual to cook grapes, but this is a really wonderful way to enjoy this fruit.

Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta with Red Grapes

Originally based on the Epicurious recipe Pasta with Sausage and Red Grapes by Kerri Conan


  • 1 lb. spicy ground Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 14oz can low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb orecchiette or other small pasta
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • Begin by setting a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta.  Meanwhile, begin cooking the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up the sausage as you brown it, approximately 15 minutes.  Transfer the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  • Next, in the still hot skillet, add the onions and garlic to the remaining oil in the pan and reduce heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  • Add the grapes, broth, red pepper flakes, dried parsley, and dried basil to the skillet.  Increase heat back to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grapes begin to burst and the liquid has reduced slightly.
  • Return the sausage to the skillet and heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and prepare as directed on the package.  Drain the pasta, then add to the skillet with the grapes and sausage.  Turn the heat back on to medium high and heat through while tossing the pasta with the grapes and sausage.
  • Serve the pasta immediately, sprinkled liberally with the fresh parsley, basil, and parmesan cheese.
A plate of sausage pasta on a wood countertop
It’s hard not to have multiple servings of this one, but definitely save some for later since it makes fabulous leftovers.

If you like this recipe, check out this Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta recipe!

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