Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage

Ziti with Sausage, Lemon and Sage
Bring something new to the table with this vibrant, hearty pasta --- it's wonderful with or without the sausage!

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage explodes with earthy, vibrant flavor, and is equally wonderful with or without the sausage. This is easy comfort food the whole family loves, ready in 30 minutes!

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage is a hearty vibrant meal with or without the sausage!

Writing the title for a recipe can be a little bit like making a speech at the Oscars….you want to fit everybody in but sometimes it’s impossible… in this case, beautiful crunchy toasted walnuts, a whole cup of them, didn’t get a mention, but don’t count them out, they add so much to this happy, yummy family style pasta. It won’t win any awards for its looks, but nobody will care. Think hot spicy chunks of Italian sausage, tons of fresh sage sizzled up in some browned butter, fresh lemon juice, cream,  Asiago cheese, those walnuts, and copious amounts of parsley…oh, and ziti. Now if you can resist that you’re not human.

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage is a fabulous 30-minute meal

I’d say most of the ingredients in this Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage are equally important, but there is a hero — the fresh sage, and lots of it. It gives the dish an aromatic, earthy flavor that makes it stand out from the ordinary. I look for that in a recipe, something that will bring a new experience to the table. And if you think of sage as a powdery dried herb that’s the background note in stuffing, you owe it to yourself to experience the fresh stuff. The leaves are velvety soft and cushiony, it’s a fun herb to work with. You’ll need a nice bunch of it for this recipe.

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage is earthy and aromatic 30-minute meal, with or without the sausage

This recipe is adapted from the great Yotam Ottolenghi. It’s a variation of a recipe in Plenty More.    I made it with and without the sausage and both were fantastic. I highly recommend it.

Ziti with Sausage, Lemon and Sage recipe

A comforting and homey 30 minute Pasta with Sausage Lemon and Sage

Ziti with Sausage, Lemon and Sage explodes with homey comforting flavor
4.11 from 19 votes

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage explodes with earthy, vibrant flavor, and is equally wonderful with or without the sausage.  This is easy comfort food the whole family loves, ready in 30 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Cook Time 25 minutes
Yield 4 - 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
  • 3/4 lb ziti or other similar pasta
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • juice of 1 large lemon about 3 tbsp
  • 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese or other hard Italian cheese
  • lots at least 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Put the walnuts in a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet and toast over medium heat until you start to smell them and they begin to brown, stirring constantly. This will take about 10 minutes or so. Cool slightly and then give them a rough chop. Set aside.
  • Remove the sausage meat from the casing and brown over medium heat until there is no pink left. Set aside.
  • Cook the ziti according to package directions, to just shy of al dente. I usually cook my pasta a good 2 minutes short of what the package says.
  • Pluck the sage leaves off their stems and finely slice them. You should have at least 1/3 - 1/2 cup.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet (big enough to hold the final dish) over a good medium high heat and add the sage. Let the sage sizzle and cook for two minutes, just until the butter begins to brown, Stir fairly constantly.
  • Lower the heat and add the cream, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper, sausage, and walnuts to the pan.
  • When the pasta is just tender, drain and add it to the sauce, reserving a little of the cooking liquid.
  • Toss well with lemon juice, cheese, and parsley and heat through. Add a little more cream, or some of the reserved cooking liquid if the sauce seems skimpy. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin this Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage!

Ziti with Sausage Lemon and Sage pin


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  • Reply
    June 22, 2020 at 9:19 am

    5 stars
    Made this last night and it was absolutely delish. A big hit with the whole family.

    • Reply
      June 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Allison 🙂

  • Reply
    Barb Lund
    April 9, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    5 stars
    Give it 5 stars. Our own ranking is “Winner” the highest we give. I will make this again, but next time with ziti. We had penne on hand but only 1/2 lb so went with cellentani which was fine, but ziti is up next.

    Sue, thank you for all your recipes. Your Apple Cider Donut Cake is on the menu yet this week. I have made it numerous times. I’ve never had a “fail” with your recipes.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks so much Barb, you’ve definitely brightened my week 🙂

  • Reply
    August 10, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I made this and it was pretty tasty. I loved the zing of the lemon. The sauce is really good. I feel like you could easily adapt the recipe and have it turn out well. I want to try it next time with pine nuts. I made it with sweet sausage to make it more palatable to toddlers. I think I should have cooked some garlic with the sage to make up for the loss of flavor. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    • Reply
      August 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks Sophia — I love the idea of pine nuts, they make everything better 😉

  • Reply
    April 7, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    This looks great, and I bet it smells incredible. I’m allergic to walnuts and pecans, can you recommend another nut you think might work well, or should I just omit them?

    • Reply
      April 7, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      You can definitely omit them Kathryn…the only other nut I might suggest is pine nuts.

      • Reply
        April 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm

        or pistachios?

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 11:03 am

    This sounds wonderful. I love dishes like this – straightforward flavors, some zing and lots of texture. Plus it is nice to see the Asiago. I always enjoy that cheese. Brava!

    • Reply
      January 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      You put it so well, Adri!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Sue, I can easily see this being a family favorite, looks delicious!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    This recipe looks simply awesome, I love those kind of natural, countryside pastas full of taste 🙂

  • Reply
    January 16, 2016 at 9:34 am

    What happens to the walnuts? Are they just garnish?

    • Reply
      January 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

      I omitted that, Tabitha, and just fixed it, thanks. They go in with the sausage.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I had to smile at your comment about the Oscars and recipe titles. So true! Sometimes I think that I need to eliminate something or it will be too long – LOL. This is my kind of comfort food. So delicious and hearty – just what I’m craving.

  • Reply
    Denise Bustard
    January 15, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Ha ha! I totally hear you on that, my recipe titles always end up so long and yet somehow something has been left out. This looks SO delicious, I am down with anything that involves fresh sage leaves these days 😉

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 15, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Fantastic flavour! I would love some too, Sue.

  • Reply
    Rosemary Wolbert | Sprigs of Rosemary
    January 15, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Every time I coook with fresh herbs, I am impressed by what a difference they make! I trust your recommendation about this dish . . . I can smell it through your photos. My Mr. Rosemary loves anything with sausage. Looks like it will be a winner.

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

      At various times in my life I’ve gotten it together to grow an herb garden, and boy does it make the difference. And as for sage in particular, the smell is what really sets it apart, it’s like aromatherapy!

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    January 15, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Love all the ingredients in this dish, Ann’s love your play on the Oscars with this one. Sausages in any dish is always a great nominee!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

      haha, thanks ladies!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 14, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I very rarely cook with sage, so taking your advice will give the fresh herb a go. Sounds great.

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Thanks Denise, I need to remind myself to think about it when I’m developing recipes…it kind of gets bound up with Thanksgiving and stuffing in our minds!

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    January 14, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Sue, I want to dive right into those gorgeous photos! This looks like something I need to put on the menu very soon. And I always prefer ziti and penne over long pasta shapes–less messy for me to eat!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 11:07 am

      I’m glad you mentioned that Jean, I should have talked about that in the post— I was originally going to use a strand pasta, but you’re right, they’re messy to eat, and I think it’s so hard to get them incorporated into the sauce.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    January 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Love this combination of flavours, Sue! I’m always looking for new pasta recipes 🙂

    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 11:08 am

      The browned butter and sage has always been a favorite of mine 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 14, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I love your play on the Oscar’s – this dish is an ensemble cast of top notch stars! I love everything about it except that it’s not on my table tonight 🙂 Sharing and drooling!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Now this looks like a weeknight meal I’d make again and again. Love all the fresh sage, this is a must try!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2016 at 11:44 am

    It’s amazing how much toasted walnuts add to pasta or a whole grain dish! Love this…I want to pick up a fork and just dig into it right from the skillet.

  • Reply
    Meghan | Fox and Briar
    January 14, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I had to laugh at your opener, so true! I would almost say the photos speak for themselves though, they had me drooling! Sausage, sage, lemon – gah, I want to eat this now!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

      My blog theme has a particularly small space for titles, so I have a really tough time 😉 Hope you give this a try Meghan!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    January 14, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Oh my gosh, so yummy Sue! I’m with you as far as having difficulty knowing what to name certain dishes. You hate to leave anything out, especially with all the fabulous ingredients in this ziti. Love everything about it!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Thanks Chris 🙂

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