sausage, fennel seed and tomato penne

I finally managed to make time to try gordon ramsay’s sausage, fennel seed and tomato pappardelle. except it was penne instead of pappardelle.

this was part of an effort to try a variety of different sausage and fennel pasta recipes which i’ve seen recently, including angela hartnett’s orecchiette con salsiccia, finocchio e prezzemolol and jamie oliver’s proper bloke’s sausage fusilli.

i loved the idea of this recipe which encourages you to roll the sausage met into little meatballs. sadly i didn’t have time to do this variation but i doubt it would have affected the flavour much. the flavours in this dish are much more muted than the others, with the rosemary providing a rich but subtle undertone. i also struggled to find the fennel flavours and think it would be improved with the addition of a bulb of finely sliced or diced fennel in addition to the seeds.

i think jamie’s dish was my favourite, what about you?

although this dish didn't wow me i think it only fair to share it with my fellow pasta lovers, in case it can find a better home else where. so, i'm sending it over to ruth at once upon a feast for presto pasta nights.

gordon ramsay’s sausage, fennel seed and tomato pappardelle serves 4

450g sausages

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp tomato purée

400g peeled plum tomatoes

1 sprig of rosemary, leaves finely chopped

150ml dry white wine

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

300g pappardelle (I used penne)

freshly grated parmesan, to serve

remove the sausages from their skins. heat the oil in a large frying pan and crumble in the sausage meat and fennel seeds. fry for a few minutes, stirring well to break up the meat. once the sausage meat releases its oils into the pan and turns lightly golden, stir in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

add the tomato purée, plum tomatoes, rosemary and white wine. scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze and bring to the boil. check for seasoning, then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down to form a chunky sauce.

meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. tip in the pappardelle and cook according to pack instructions until al dente. drain well and return to the pan. toss through the sausage sauce and divide between warmed pasta plates. sprinkle with the grated parmesan and serve without delay.