A few years back, I was in a nice Italian restaurant that served those thin crust, super tasty, brick oven pizzas, and one of the pizza’s we got for the table was a fennel and sausage combination. I know both ingredients are popular in Italian cooking, but I’m not sure I had them on a pizza before. Well, several months later, I was thinking about pasta recipes, remember that pizza, and decided to give it a try. I often take combinations I see in one place and try recreate them in a another form. That’s what I’ve done here in this Fettucini with Sausage and Fennel recipe…hope you enjoy it.
Recipe Overview & Keys to Success
This is a pretty simple dish, and not too many things you have to careful. Just make sure:
- Use a good quality sauage. It can be hot or mild, your choice, but make sure it tastes good. I also prefer to remove the casing before browning it.
- As always, don’t overcook the pasta. Start tasting several minutes before it should be done, and keep an eye on it. You can also make the sauce so that it’s done a several minutes (I’d say up to 20) before the pasta – so you don’t have to hold the pasta, waiting for the sauce.
- Ideally, the fennel gets nicely caramelized, but still retains a bit of texture/firmness so you can still tell it there. I also like to make sure I use a good amount to make sure the flavor comes through.
Ingredients for Fettucini with Sausage & Fennel (for 2)
- ½ pound fettucini
- 1 Italian sausage (I actually use about ½ of the sausage, but you gotta buy a whole one)
- ½ of a fennel bulb julienned
- 1 diced shallot
- 2 mined garlic cloves
- 6 – 8 cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ tablespoon of butter
- Tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
Fettucini with Sausage & Fennel
- Start boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta; while it heats
- Use a sharp knife to cut open the casing on the sausage, and tear the sausage meat into small pieces; brown them in a large sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat
- Once browned, remove the sausage from the pan, and add the fennel; sauté until browned, and just tender
- Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente
- Add the garlic and shallot and cook until just softened (2 – 3 minutes)
- Add the sausage back to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes
- If you’re pasta is not yet cooked, you can hold the sauce at this point on the lowest heat for about 5 minutes; any longer and turn the heat off all together until you’re ready to add the pasta
- Once cooked, add the pasta directly to the sauté pan, along with about a quarter cup of the pasta water to deglaze the pan
- Toss everything together to lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan; the water will also act as just a bit of a sauce
- Turn the heat down, and add the butter, parsley, and cheese; again toss to combine and taste
- Season with salt and pepper if needed
- Serve up the pasta in a warm pasta bowl, and garish with a bit more cheese if you’d like
Hope you enjoy this dish. Leave a comment below if you have any questions, and let me know how it goes. Enjoy!!