Braised Lamb Sausages for Pasta

Slow cooked sausages are delicious, especially in my braised lamb sugo recipe-one of my favorite pasta sauces. You can take just about any sausage you like, and, instead of cooking until they’re just done, you can simmer them with some liquid (or tomato as I do here in this version inspired by one I made at Italian restaurants in St. Paul) and cook them until they’re very tender.

Slow cooked lamb or goat Italian sausages with pasta
Tender slow-braised sausages are a great variation on the classic Italian meat sauce.

If you like slow-cooked tender lamb and things like pot roast, you’ll love trying your hand at braising some sausages. It’s a great variation on classic Italian meat sauces made from lamb shoulder or ground lamb. Here I’m using the same recipe for fennel sausage made from goat shoulder I shared in our post on lamb fennel sausage as it’s a traditional flavor, but many different types and flavors of sausage would work fine.

At the restaurant, we would cook two whole 4 ounce pork sausages slowly with wine and tomato sauce until they were nearly falling apart, then we’d put two of them inside of a sort of flat pocket bread with peppers, onions and cheese and bake it. It was a massive portion any way you look at it, and I don’t think I know anyone besides the owner of the restaurant who could eat a whole one.

In the recipe below, I recommend tossing the sausages and their sauce with some pasta, but serving the braised lamb ragu recipe and its sauce over polenta would be great too. If you’ve only ever cooked sausages quickly in the oven or on the grill, I think you’ll really love this variation.

Slow cooked lamb or goat Italian sausages with pasta

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef

This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Slow cooked lamb or goat Italian sausages with pasta

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Slow cooked lamb or goat Italian sausages with pasta
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Braised Lamb Sausages for Pasta

A simple lamb ragu recipe made from sausages braised fork-tender with onions, tomato, wine and herbs. Great tossed with pasta or served over soft polenta. Serves 4-6
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian American
Keyword: Goat Sausage, Italian Sausage, Lamb Sausage
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 648kcal


  • 1 10 inch skillet with high sides or Dutch oven


Lamb Sugo

  • 1 lb lamb or goat Italian sausages
  • 1 32 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 oz yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup lamb or chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cooking olive oil

Finishing and serving

  • 1 lb cooked pasta, such as penne
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Small handful of chopped Italian parsley, to garnish, optional


  • Heat a 3 quart sauce pot with the cooking oil until hot. Add the sausages and allow to cook for a few minutes on medium heat until lightly browned on both sides.
  • Remove the sausages.
  • Finely chop the garlic and onion together, add to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat or until softened.
  • Add the red wine and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the browned lamb sausages back to the pan. Add the tomato puree, bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours at 275 F.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.
  • Remove the pan from the oven carefully, remove the lid, and tilt the pan, spooning off excess oil and discarding. Remove the sausages from the pan, add the pasta, which should be hot, stir to mix with the sauce, adding the parsley and butter and mixing.
  • If you want, slice the sausages into bite sized pieces.
  • Double check the seasoning of the sauce for salt and hot pepper and adjust until it tastes good to you.
  • Add the sausages back to the pan, along with the pasta if using, simmer for a few minutes to mix the flavors and help the pasta absorb the sauce, and serve. Pass parmesan at the table.


Skimming fat from the finished dish 

After your sausages are done cooking, you may notice some oil on the top, which is natural. I suggest pouring some of it off before serving. If your sauce looks too thick or dry after cooking, add a little water and stir, bring it to a simmer to adjust the consistency until you like it. 


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1246mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 447IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg