Friday, September 21, 2007

Fennel and Sausage Pasta

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
  1. Boil several cups of salted water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Crumble the sausage meat into the pan and brown it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add 1 1/2 cups of the boiling salted water to the mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. While the mixture is simmering cook the pasta until it is not quite al dente.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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