In Italy, a good pasta with ragù is the go-to meal in home kitchens and trattorias, so let’s bring a little bit of Italy into our homes. We love this recipe because it’s hearty and uncomplicated with a surprising pop of flavour thanks to the addition of fennel and parsley.
Generally, most pasta sauces will pair perfectly well with most common pasta types, like spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, pappardelle, penne, shells etc. and while this ragu sauce will be great with any type of pasta, our favourite for this ragu is rigatoni.
PORK SAUSAGE AND FENNEL RAGU
500g pork sausage **
1 large white onion sliced
1 large fennel sliced
3 large cloves of garlic – crushed
1 red chilli sliced
2 tbsp chopped parsley stalks
Tender parts of fennel stalks chopped
1 tsp of fennel seeds
500g tomatoes or cherry tomatoes diced
1 pkt frozen spinach
3 tbsp olive oil
1 pkt rigatoni
** you can use beef sausage or prawns
- Remove sausage meat from the casing.
- Place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Squash with your hands to release all the natural juices.
- In a large wide pan heat the oil, once hot, add the onion, fennel, garlic, chilli, parsley stalks, fennel stalks and fennel seeds.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until everything is soft and starting to caramelise.
- Add the pork sausage meat and break it into small pieces using a fork.
- Allow to cook for a further 3-5 minutes until golden and caramelised.
- Add the spinach and crushed tomatoes.
- Lower to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.
- In a large pot of heavily salted water, cook the rigatoni only 90% cooked.
- Once pasta is cooked, put 2 scoops of pasta water in the sausage ragu.
- Strain the pasta and add to the ragu, mix well.
- Turn off the heat and cover, allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. The residual heat will finish cooking the pasta and it will absorb all those lovely flavours.
- Serve with cracked black pepper and plenty of Parmesan.
Head Chef at The Big Group