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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!!

Cuisine: 
Main Ingredient: 
Pasta