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Ziti Al Fresco with Italian Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes and Cream

Ziti Al Fresco

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian


Ziti Al Fresco is simply made with Italian sausage, sun dried tomatoes and cream. No need to bake this ziti! Ready in about 15 minutes, this will quickly become a family favorite.


Units Scale

1 lb penne or ziti, cooked al dente in salted water

2 T olive oil

1 lb hot or sweet, very good bulk Italian sausage (If you need to you can always add some red pepper flakes to the sauce.)

1/2 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

3 T red wine for deglazing

1/2 small can tomato paste

1 c heavy cream

1/3 c sun dried tomatoes sliced (in oil, and blotted dry)

1 pkg fresh basil, chopped

Salt and fresh pepper to taste

Fresh grated Parmigiano for serving


Heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add sausage and onions. Cook and break up sausage until almost no pink is showing. Add garlic and cook until sausage is cooked.

Use wine to deglaze pan then turn heat to medium low. Stir in tomato paste, then add heavy cream. Bring to a low simmer and  whisk gently until tomato paste is blended in. The sauce will be thick. I usually stir in some pasta water to loosen up the sauce. You could also add more cream. Your choice!

Stir in sun dried tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes. When almost done, stir in the chopped basil.

Combine sauce with drained ziti.  Sprinkle with parmigiano.

Now finish that bottle of wine you used to deglaze with and you will understand why you deglaze a pan with wine and why the chefs always say to never use a wine to cook with, that you wouldn’t drink on its own!


Sauce can be kept warm on low heat.

Feel free to add some red pepper flakes if you want this spicier.

Sun Dried Tomatoes or Oven Dried Tomatoes? I prefer the sun dried. I think they have a richer taste. They usually cost more but IMO they are worth it.

Reserve some pasta water to loosen up the sauce.