The combination of sweet Italian sausage, tomatoes, and fennel in this Pasta with Sausage and Fennel recipe creates a dish that embodies the essence of Italian comfort food. Each ingredient in this recipe contributes distinct flavors that come together beautifully.
Firstly, the sweet Italian sausage brings a rich and savory depth to the dish. The sweetness in the sausage not only complements the natural sweetness of the plum tomatoes but also adds a robust, meaty flavor that infuses the entire sauce. The combination of seasoned pork and the subtle sweetness from the sausage elevates the overall taste, making it a comforting and satisfying experience.
The tomatoes, with their natural sweetness and acidity, contribute a vibrant and fresh dimension to the sauce. These tomatoes are prized for their meaty texture and balanced sweetness, enhancing the sauce with a burst of flavor. The simmering process allows the tomatoes to break down and meld seamlessly with other ingredients, creating a luscious and well-rounded base for the pasta.
Fennel, with its aromatic and slightly sweet anise-like flavor, adds a unique and refreshing element to the dish. The thinly sliced fennel bulbs bring a crisp texture and a subtle licorice note that cuts through the richness of the sausage and adds complexity to the overall flavor profile. Fennel’s bright and herbaceous quality complements the savory and sweet components, contributing to the dish’s depth and balance.
In essence, the sweet Italian sausage, plum tomatoes, and fennel work together in perfect harmony, creating a symphony of flavors that make each bite of the Pasta with Sausage and Fennel a delightful and memorable experience. The mix of sweet, savory, and aromatic flavors in this dish shows how combining these simple ingredients creates something really special. It’s like putting together puzzle pieces to make a meal that tastes even better than each ingredient on its own. And the best part? It’s super easy to recreate at home!
Orecchiette with Sausage and Fennel
- 1 lb. Orecchiette
- 1 lb. Italian Sweet Sausage casings removed
- 1 Large Fennel Bulb thinly sliced
- 1 Shallot thinly sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
- 28 oz. Whole Peeled Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes adjust to taste
- Handful Fresh Parsley chopped
- Grated Pecorino Cheese
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook the orecchiette pasta according to package instructions until it reaches al dente.
- Before draining, reserve about a cup of pasta water. Drain the orecchiette and set it aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the sweet Italian sausage, breaking it into crumbles with a spatula.
- Cook until the sausage is browned and fully cooked. Remove any excess fat if necessary.
- Pour in the dry white wine, using it to deglaze the pan and enhance the flavors.
- Add the fennel, shallot, and garlic to the skillet. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and the aroma fills the kitchen.
- Crush the whole peeled tomatoes and add them to the skillet. Stir in the tomato paste to intensify the richness of the sauce.
- Sprinkle in red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Add a tablespoon of the freshly chopped parsley.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes, letting the flavors meld and the sauce thicken.
- Add the al dente orecchiette to the skillet, ensuring the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle Pecorino cheese on top and let the orecchiette finish cooking in the sauce. If necessary, incorporate a small amount of the reserved pasta water into the sauce. This helps create a silky and cohesive texture.
- Serve with a topping of grated Pecorino cheese and freshly chopped parsley.