This Harissa Pasta recipe has flavorful harissa paste and sausage in a creamy homemade sauce, tossed with bucatini pasta. The flavor is outstanding and it is ready in just 30 minutes!
Why I love this recipe:
- Flavorful – The harissa paste makes this pasta bold, spicy, and so packed full of flavor you will love.
- 30-Minute Meal – It’s an easy one pot dinner you’ll have on the table in just 30 minutes.
- Customizable – Use some of my suggestions below to customize your dish by adding protein or vegetables.
What is Harissa?
If you’re not familiar with Harissa, it’s a chili paste that originates from Tunisia in North Africa. It’s made of chili peppers, garlic, and spices and adds a spicy and flavorful element to any dish. We like to use it to season chicken, shrimp, or other meat (like our chicken meatballs), add to sauces, pasta or add tiny bit to roasted vegetables.
How to Make Harissa Pasta:
Cook Pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions, until al dente. Don’t drain.
Brown Meat: Sauté a shallot in olive oil on medium heat, cooking for 2 minutes. Add sausage and cook, crumbling into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season meat with a little salt and pepper.
Finish Sauce: Add tomato paste, harissa paste and oregano to the pan with the sauce and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Gradually stir in chicken stock and sun-dried tomatoes. Turn the heat to low and add cream, parmesan, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Toss: Use tongs to transfer the pasta straight from the pot of water into the pan. Toss to combine. If needed, add some hot pasta water to thin the sauce.
Serve this creamy harissa pasta garnished with lots of fresh chopped basil and little extra fresh shredded parmesan.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To Make Ahead: Make the Harissa Pasta sauce ahead and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove and add cooked pasta when ready to serve.
To Freeze: Freeze the sauce (before adding the pasta), in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months.
More Topping Ideas: Add a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, or more fresh herbs like mint or cilantro.
Extra Veggies: Add sautéd roasted red peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, or spinach to the pasta.
Gluten Free: Substitute your favorite gluten free spaghetti noodles (I recommend Barilla brand).
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- 1 lb bucatini pasta , or spaghetti
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot , diced
- 1 lb ground sausage (we use Jimmy Dean)
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup harissa paste , I like the Trader Joes brand.
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup sun dried tomatoes , finely diced
- 1 cup heavy cream , at room temp
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley , plus more to serve if desired
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese , plus more to serve if desired
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves , chopped
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions, until al dente. (Don't drain the water.)
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil. Add shallot, cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add sausage and cook, crumbling into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season meat with a little salt and pepper.
- Add tomato paste, harissa paste, and oregano to the pan with the sauce and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Gradually stir in chicken stock and sun dried tomatoes. Turn the heat to low and add cream, parmesan and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Use tongs to transfer the hot pasta straight from the pot of water into the pan. Toss to combine. If needed, add some hot pasta water to thin the sauce.
- Serve garnished with lots of fresh chopped basil and a little extra fresh shredded parmesan.
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