Sausage and Fennel Pasta Bake by Chef Charles Knight©
EQUIPMENT: 13-inch gourmet skillet with cover, 5Qt. stockpot or 3-piece pasta Pentola set, cutting board, French Chef’s knife
PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour – Makes 8 to 12 servings.
- 1-pound Italian sausage, casing removed
- 2 cups fresh fennel chopped – ¼ cup reserved.
- 1 large Spanish onion, minced.
- 5 or 6 cloves garlic, minced.
- 1 cup of white wine
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon red pepper seeds (optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk or half N half
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups parmesan cheese, 1 cup reserved.
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- 1-pound rigatoni pasta
In a hot 13-gourmet skillet over medium heat 275°F sauté the Italian sausage until browned and broken up, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the fennel, onion, garlic, and sauté 6 to 8 minutes until cooked, stirring occasionally.
Deglaze the pan with wine and bring to a simmer, reduce liquid by one-third. Stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper seeds.
Add the heavy cream or Half-N-Half and tomato paste, bring to a simmer until the sauce thickens.
Preheat the oven to 375ᵒF.
While the sauce is cooking prepare boiling water for rigatoni pasta by adding fennel trimmings to pasta water. Add pasta and cook al dente. When the pasta is cooked drain and add to sauce and toss to coat the pasta. Top with breadcrumbs and bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve hot in shallow bowls with remaining parmesan cheese and top with fresh parsley.