fennel sausage pasta

Our cooking library came up short on sausage-based pasta sauces so we were forced to fake it here. Having discovered fennel, fennel sausage was a natural choice from the sausage types offered by our local favorite Italian food product source, Carlino's. To give the sauce a kick, a touch of cayenne red pepper is clearly needed, which is easier to add to the fennel sausage than adding fennel to hot sausage.


1 lb rigatoni or radiatore
2 T olive oil
4 links sweet fennel sausage, casings removed, broken into small pieces
1 large onion, chopped
6 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large can Italian pelati (peeled plum tomatoes)
fresh basil, a few T once chopped
cayenne red pepper to taste
allspice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c parmigiano plus individual serving grating


  1. Remove the casings from the sausage and cut into small pieces.
  2. Cook the sausage fragments in a large nonstick pot with the olive oil.
  3. When the sausage is thoroughly cooked, add the onions and cook until softened.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook down a bit.
  5. Add the pelati and simmer 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Meanwhile, when appropriate, cook the pasta al dente.
  7. Combine the pasta, sauce and parmigiano.
  8. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and parmigiano.


  1. A famous small New York Italian restaurant suggests (a Food TV hint) returning the drained pasta to the pot with a little sauce and heating it while stirring around briefly over low heat to force the two to get better acquainted. Then mix in the rest and serve.
fnlspsta.htm: 28-may-2002 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]