Decadently smooth and rich but not the least bit heavy, this Brandy Cream Sauce Pasta hits all of the right comfort food cravings. Baked with crumbled sweet sausage, caramelized roasted garlic and mushrooms cooked down in butter… and the best part? It can be made in just 30 minutes. This pasta bake dinner is perfect for easy weeknight cooking.
If 30 minutes (plus clean up) is more time than you have on your busy weeknight you can also make this easy dinner ahead of time. Cook the pasta and prep the brandy cream sauce earlier in the day or week. That way dinner is as simple as tossing everything together and bake the casserole.
About the Ingredients
Bow-tie pasta – or any shape pasta noodle you prefer. I like the bow-ties for this recipe because they have a lot of surface area to be coated by the sauce. Their shape also helps scoop up some of the sausage and mushrooms more easily.
Sweet Italian Sausage – removed from the casings.
Mushrooms – sliced baby bella mushrooms sautéed in a little butter are my go too choice for this recipe because they tend to have an earthier flavor that compliments the brandy sauce.
Roasted garlic – a head of roasted garlic is very simple to make. You can watch my short video on how to roast garlic here. If you don’t have time you can definitely substitute chopped or minced garlic but don’t use a whole head – instead cut back to 2 teaspoons.
Brandy – any brandy as long as it isn’t flavored (some brandy’s are blackberry or cherry.)
Breadcrumbs – preferably seasoned breadcrumbs.
Seasonings – red pepper flakes, parsley, salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese – shredded or grated. Pecorino Romano is a good substitute too.
How to Make Brandy Cream Sauce Pasta Bake
Begin by removing the sausage from its casings and browning it, while stirring to a crumble. Remove the sausage to a plate and then sauté the mushrooms in some butter. While you’re doing this you can also start boiling your pasta according to the package directions.
Once the mushrooms have softened, add the roasted garlic and brandy to the pan. Be sure to let the brandy simmer for about 2 minutes so the alcohol cooks off.
Continue with your sauce by adding the chicken broth followed by heavy cream, a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and the seasonings.
Now add back your cooked sausage and toss in the boiled pasta. Toss everything to coat it with sauce.
Transfer your pasta mixture to a baking dish coated with cooking spray and top it off with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake your casserole for just 5 minutes at a high temperature to toast the top and then dinner is ready to serve.
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
One of the best things about a pasta bake recipe is that it can be adjusted to your liking. Use ingredients that you have on hand and meats and vegetables that you love. Try this same recipe but substitute the sweet sausage with diced chicken breast and the sliced mushrooms with asparagus tips and peas.
Make Ahead Instructions
Casseroles are perfect for making dinner ahead of time. This dish can be made entirely in advance (up to 2 days before serving) and kept covered in the refrigerator. Then warm it up in a 375°F oven, covered with foil, for 35 minutes or until hot. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes and spray the top of the pasta bake with cooking spray to get that toasty crust on top.
The only downside to this completely heat and serve method is that the longer the casserole sits assembled in the refrigerator, the more sauce will be absorbed by the pasta. This could dry your dish out a little. To prevent too much absorption of the sauce try this method instead:
Up to 2 days before serving:
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the brandy cream sauce right through adding in the cooked sausage but don’t add in the pasta. Store the sauce in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
One hour before serving:
- Pour the sauce into a large pan set over medium heat on the stove. Add in the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Let the mixture warm at a low simmer while the oven preheats to 400°F.
- Transfer your pasta mixture to a baking dish coated with cooking spray and top it off with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake your casserole for just 5 minutes at a high temperature to toast the top and then dinner is ready to serve.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Brandy Cream Sauce Pasta Bake can be assembled entirely ahead of time. Follow the recipe all the way through to the end and then let cool to room temperature. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and then foil and place it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
When you’re ready, remove the casserole to the refrigerator the night prior to serving. Then move the baking dish to the counter about 45 minutes prior to heating it up. Remove the plastic wrap but replace the foil. Heat in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes or until hot.
FAQ’s and Recipe Tips
It is a chicken broth and heavy cream based sauce flavored with brandy and seasonings.
If you have extra brandy cream sauce, try pouring it over some pan seared chicken breast or a lean steak.
Heavy cream will thicken the sauce right away and give it a silk texture.
The Recipe for Brandy Cream Sauce Pasta Bake
The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing. If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and if you made the roasted garlic. Enjoy!
Brandy Cream Sauce Pasta Bake
- 12 oz bow-tie pasta
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 2 tbsp butter
- 12 oz baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese divided
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- Cooking spray
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.12 oz bow-tie pasta
- Remove the sausage from its casings and cook in a large skillet over medium high heat while stirring to a crumble until cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes.1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- Remove sausage to a plate and pour out excess fat. Add butter to the hot pan.2 tbsp butter
- Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.12 oz baby Bella mushrooms
- Add the garlic and brandy and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken broth and continue simmer for another 2 minutes.1 head roasted garlic, 4 tbsp brandy, 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Add the heavy cream, cooked sausage and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir well.1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, Salt, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Pepper
- Add the cooked pasta to the sausage and mushroom sauce and stir to coat.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and spray with cooking spray.1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs, Cooking spray
- Bake at 400°F for 5 minutes or until golden brown on top. Sprinkle on fresh parsley.Chopped fresh parsley