Weeknight dinner prep is a real struggle lately. I think as the boys are getting more involved in activities and homework is more of a thing, the amount of time I have to get dinner ready is minimal. If something takes more than 20-30 minutes to make, it’s probably not going to happen! But I really try to make sitting down together at dinnertime a priority for most nights, and this One Pot Pasta With Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella has saved the day on more than one occasion lately. It also has sausage, but honestly the title was getting a little wordy so I had to stop somewhere.
And when I say, one pot, I mean ONE POT! Which makes clean-up so fast! There’s also very minimal chopping and prep work to get this one pot party started, so that helps too. It’s super simple and I feel like it can stand on it’s own for a quick weeknight dinner, without any sides to mess with. But if you do have time, a nice crusty french loaf and a simply dressed leafy green salad are the perfect thing.
Those cute little fresh mozzarella balls (quick Italian lesson: Ciliegine – see-lay-genie meaning “small cherry” ) go in at the last minute, and the warmth of the pasta makes them soften into the most beautifully creamy little blobs (so fancy). My favorite part for sure! For having so few ingredients, this pasta packs great flavor. The fresh garlic, Italian sausage, and dried basil leaves really give it a boost, and the cooking the pasta in a chicken broth based sauce is the very best secret of all for super flavorful pasta dishes.
While this recipe calls for dried basil leaves, additional fresh basil is also a good thing too, if you have some. I had just a few little usable leaves after my basil plant was consumed by some tiny secret ninja garden pest. Literally overnight, my basil went from lush and abundant to wilted and pathetic. Any advice for what to put on herbs to keep pests from turning their leaves into lace?
At least they left enough to tear up and sprinkle over my pasta, just for a pop of freshness. Hope you get a chance to try this one pot wonder! I think I’m going back for one more bowl…
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
Can't get enough?
Subscribe and I'll send all my recipes right to your inbox! You can also keep up to date by following me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.Print
One Pot Pasta With Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Italian
The perfect ONE POT weeknight dinner solution. Clean up takes no time, and the flavor is amazing!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
- 2–3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 3 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 ounces Ciliegine* fresh mozzarella, halved
- 5 leaves fresh basil, torn (optional)
- In a large pan with medium high heat, crumble and brown the sausage in the olive oil until no longer pink. Add pressed garlic into the pan and stir constantly, cooking for one minute.
- Slowly add the chicken broth, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, sugar, basil leaves, pasta. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to medium low.
- Allow pasta to gently simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring twice.
- When the pasta is just about done, remove the lid, stir in the heavy cream, and turn the heat up to bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes uncovered stirring frequently, or until sauce is slightly thickened. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Dot the top with fresh mozzarella (the heat of the pasta will soften it) and sprinkle with fresh basil if desired. Allow to set for 3-5 minutes before serving.
*I found these little balls of fresh mozzarella at Trader Joe’s
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 592
- Sugar: 9.6g
- Sodium: 1284mg
- Fat: 26g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Unsaturated Fat: 15.9g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 62g
- Fiber: 4.3g
- Protein: 27g
- Cholesterol: 61mg
Keywords: one pot pasta, tomato, basil, mozzarella, pasta, quick
Sarah Kasch (Sarah's Attic Of Treasures) says
I love simple meals like this.
Have a wonderful week/ Sarah
Thanks so much Sarah! Hope you get a chance to try it.
Sarah Kasch (Sarah's Attic Of Treasures) says
I know we will. Have a wonderful Tuesday,
I made this last night and it was very easy and delicious! Thank you!
Oh yay! Thanks so much for letting me know how it worked out for you Liza!
Love this dish. By the way, you may be able to protect your herb garden by spraying them with a soap mixture – my husband uses castile soap and distilled water. You have to wash after harvesting, of course, but you’re not using harsh chemicals or pesticides.
So glad you liked it Jen, and thanks so much for that gardening tip!
HI Julie! I plan on making this dish for Christmas this year but I just had a question. Do you strain the canned diced tomatoes and then add them? Or should we add the entire can of juice and diced tomatoes? Thanks for this recipe! Can’t wait to make it! 🙂
Hi Sharon, no you don’t have to drain the tomatoes. Enjoy!
This was a great hit at our Christmas dinner last night! Thanks so much for the recipe, Julie! Everyone loved it! Can’t wait to try out other recipes of yours!
You are very welcome Sharon, so glad everyone loved it!
I couldn’t find fusilli pasta, but I found rotini. Would I use the same amount? Thanks!
Yes same amount. Enjoy!
we usually make that with meat balls,but love this twist
Regarding the bugs, I use garlic spray. I mince my garlic in a chopper – take out a spoonful – rinse it and preserve the water – fill my spray bottle and voila! Word to the wise, don’t save the leftovers. It develops an awful odor after a few days.
Good to know, thanks Jonnie!
Do you take the sausage out before you add the garlic, pasta, etc?
Hi Emily. No need to take out the sausage. Hope you enjoy!
thank you! looking forward to this!
Hi Julie, can I use whipped cream if I can’t find heavy cream?
Hi! Yes I think it is sometimes labeled whipping cream, and other times heavy cream. But it should not be sweetened whipped cream, like you would squirt on pie.
Thank you! After a bit of googling heavy cream alternatives I ended up using half and half cream, the recipe was delicious!
This recipe is so yummy and great for a weeknight when there isn’t much time between arrival from and kids going to bed with homework and bath in between. Love it!
Exactly Nancy. Glad it worked well for you!
Vanessa Medina says
My husband and I made this tonight. What an awesome recipe! We will definitely be making this part of our recipe repertoire. The cream definitely adds extra richness and fresh basil is exceptional here. A must try!
That’s great! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you :0)
Do you put the olive oil in the pan before you add the sausage?
Mary, good question. I’ll revise the recipe instructions so that is more clear. Yes, add the olive oil to the pan before the sausage. Enjoy!
Do you think I could make this today, freeze it for travel, and serve it tomorrow night?
Made it tonight, used Italian sausage and my favourite bow tie pasta, otherwise stuck to the recipe. Simple and quick to make and simply delicious! I will be trying out your other recipes. Thank you Julie.
Thank you, Georgie. I hope you find some more recipes to try!
I omitted to write ‘hot’ Italian sausage. It gave it a nice kick.
Hey if feeding a lot of people would you use a large sauce pot if I’m tripling the recipe?