Meditations

Fennel and Sausage Fettucine with Fresh Tomato


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This is a very simple but tasty pasta dish. The fresh tomato adds a brilliantly refreshing contrast to the richer tastes of the sausage and fennel. Cubing the cheese rather than grating it on top was inspired by a snack that I often made while we were in Tuscany of chopped raw fennel and parmesan; a killer combo.

Ingredients:

– Olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1/2 onion
– small handful fennel “leaves”
– 1 fennel bulb
– 3 Italian sausage
– 4 small tomates
– 1/2 or 1 cup of beer
– handful Italian parsley
– chunk of parmesan cheese
– salt
– pepper
– fresh fettucine noodles

1. Start boiling the water for the pasta.

2. Finely chop the garlic, onion and fennel leaves (the dill-like component of fennel). Combine in a bowl and add pepper.

3. Core the fennel bulb and chop it into small pieces.

4. Desleeve the sausages and chop up the meat.

5. Chop and deseed the tomatoes. Place them in a bowl and add a generous pour of good olive oil and a sprinkling of salt (Note: this will be the salt for the entire dish). Set this aside until the end.

6. Next, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic mixture and cook until it just begins to brown.

7. Add the fennel. Cook for approx. 5 minutes or until it starts to soften. Pour in the beer and mix the contents in the pan.

8. When the beer is nearly evaporated add the sausage pieces. Cook until sausage looks finished (approx 8 – 10 mins). This would probably be a good time to start dealing with your pasta.

9. Roughly chop up the parsley and cube the parmesan cheese. Add to the pan and give everything a light toss. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the parmesan begins to soften.

10. Finally, just as you are about ready to pull the frying pan off of the heat, mix in the tomatoes.

11. Plate the pasta and place a couple of good scoops of the sauce on top. Enjoy.

Serves 2 quite nicely.

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