Last night I decided to try something new for dinner. So, I looked through my recipes for something that I have never made before, or more accurately, something that I could not remember ever making before, and settled on this. It was not that hard to make, and it goes well with a robust red wine.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 1 med bulb fennel
- 1 med onion
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lb ziti (or penne, or any other bite-sized pasta)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Boil several cups of salted water.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Crumble the sausage meat into the pan and brown it.
- Chop the fennel bulb into matchstick sized bits. Do not make the bits too large. Save the fronds and cut them into inch-long sprigs. Chop the onion into small pieces.
- When the sausage meat is brown add the red pepper and onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the fennel and cook until it goes a bit soft.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the boiling salted water to the mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the mixture is simmering cook the pasta until it is not quite al dente.
- Add the pasta and fennel fronds to the sausage mixture and cook for a few minutes. Add a bit of the pasta water if the mixture starts to dry out.
- When the pasta is al dente remove from the heat and add the cheese. Serve immediately.
This is a fairly hearty dish and should be eaten with a salad of some kind. It worked out fairly well for me, but the fennel was a bit undercooked. I probably should have cut it into smaller pieces. Also, it needed a bit of black pepper added while I was eating it. Joan said that it also needed a bit of salt, but I was happy without that.