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5 from 3 votes
Make Ahead Italian Sausage Puttanesca
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
This Italian Sausage Puttanesca is a delicious entree for a dinner party but it's also great for a weeknight meal as it can be made ahead, it freezes well and it's a hit with young and old alike!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Sausage Puttanesca, Make Ahead Italian Sausage Puttanesca
Servings: 8
Calories: 353 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium-size Italian sausage (I use Johnsonville which comes in a 5 sausage-pack,19-ounces total)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large sweet onion finely diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 28 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I use 2 14.5-ounce cans)
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped, more for garnish
  • shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
  • toasted pine nuts for garnish
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over low-medium heat. Have water near the stove. Add the sausage links and cook until deep golden brown, turning occasionally and adding a tablespoon of water every now and then so they don’t stick to the pan. Each time you add water, let it completely cook off and let the sausages sizzle a bit before adding more. When sausages are deeply golden on all sides (takes about 20 minutes), remove them from the pan.
  2. Pour off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan. The pan should have a nice brown fond at the bottom. Add the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, anchovy paste, capers and Italian seasoning and let them “bloom” cooking for another minute, stirring frequently.

  3. Add the red wine and cook until most of it has evaporated then add the fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, Kalamata olives and half of the fresh basil leaves. Simmer, uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until sauce is thickened.

  4. While the sauce is simmering, slice the sausage about ⅛-¼-inch thick. After sauce is finished simmering, add the sausage back in. Stir in the remaining chopped basil. Taste and add salt, if needed.

  5. Serve over pasta and garnish with, shaved parmesan, toasted pine nuts and/or fresh basil leaves.
Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.

Nutrition Facts
Make Ahead Italian Sausage Puttanesca
Amount Per Serving
Calories 353 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 1091mg47%
Potassium 547mg16%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 741IU15%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 105mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.