Fusilli with Fennel, Red Wine & Sausage Sauce

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
  1. Using a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Cook until translucent. Remove from pan. Set aside.
  2. Add the sausage links to the pan, cook until evenly browned on all sides. Remove and cut into 1/2-inch slices.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook Pasta al dente, drain.
  6. To serve family style, spoon pasta into large serving dish, top with sauce. Magia Bene!
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