This is a hearty pasta dish with Italian sausage in a robust red wine and tomato sauce. I serve it with bruschette. It is a meal on its own, however, sometimes I will also include a simple salad of fresh greens dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 6 Italian sausage links
- 1 Fennel bulb
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 Cup dry red wine
- 1 Bottle (24 oz.) Passata
- 1/2 Teaspoon sugar.
- 1 Pound Fusilli pasta
- Using a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Cook until translucent. Remove from pan. Set aside.
- Add the sausage links to the pan, cook until evenly browned on all sides. Remove and cut into 1/2-inch slices.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the stem end of the fennel bulb and then cut off the stalks and fronds (the feathery fern-like leaves). Discard. Cut the bulb in half, lengthwise (top to stem end of bulb). With the cut-side down, thinly slice each half. Sauté in pan until tender.
- Return sausage to pan with the fennel, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Stir well. Add the sautéed onion and garlic. Stir in the wine, then passata and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken a bit.
- Cook Pasta al dente, drain.
- To serve family style, spoon pasta into large serving dish, top with sauce. Magia Bene!