Penne with Sausage and Fennel Alfredo Sauce is a dish I made with what was leftover in my refrigerator this week. I had planned to make a tomato and fennel salad earlier in the week, but I never got around to doing it (plus, someone ate the oil cured black olives I was saving for this dish). Italian sausage is a staple, so it’s always on hand. I love the combination of fennel and Italian sausage (see my sausage and fennel frittata recipe). Fennel has an overwhelming licorice or anise aroma, but it cooks up sweet and the flavor of the anise is mild. Both of my grand kids ate it without question and that’s rare.
I started by sauteing the Italian sausage until it was cooked through. Then I move it over in the pan, and added a little extra virgin olive oil, a chopped small shallot (onion works, too), a few cloves of crushed garlic (can never have too much garlic), and the thinly sliced fennel. I cooked the fennel until it was tender, which only takes 5 minutes or so. Probably, the right way to do it is to remove the browned Italian sausage from the pan before adding the fennel, shallot, and garlic. Once the fennel is tender, I added a healthy pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, then mixed together all of the ingredients in the pan. I let it cook for a minute or two on low heat while I put on a pot of water to boil for the penne pasta.
I also added a cup of heavy cream and a cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and let it simmer until the penne was al dente. Then I drained the pasta and added it to the skillet of sausage and fennel alfredo. Double yum! It’s hard to beat quick and delicious comfort food.
Penne with Sausage and Fennel Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 small shallot chopped
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- crushed red pepper
- salt & pepper
- Penne pasta cooked al dente
Saute Italian sausage until brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add olive oil, shallot, garlic, and fennel; saute over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add browned sausage, cream, parmigiano, and crushed red pepper to pan. Stir well; simmer on low heat for a minute or two. Add salt and pepper as desired. Serve over al dente Penne pasta.
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