Excuse me, but I’m having a moment here. I do not want to accept that Fall is here. Yet all those pumpkin spice flavored donuts, coffee, candles, and probably hairspray is telling me it’s time to pack away the shorts. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Fall except it comes right before winter, ushers out summer (sadness), and I really don’t care for pumpkin spice. So, I’m protesting with a Sausage & Fennel Pappardelle that gives a nod to fall but keeps one foot in the summer garden.
The garden is still producing plenty of kale and fennel. I have some extra pappardelle from the batch I made last week. So, I’m throwing it all in one pot with some Italian sausage. The fennel adds a subtle sweetness that pairs nicely with the smokiness of the Italian sausage.
Wash a bunch of kale removing the stem and roughly chopping the leaves into medium pieces. Dice 1 small sweet onion and 1 shallot. Carefully cut 1 fennel bulb about 1 inch above the bulb to remove the stalks saving a few of the bright green fronds to use as garnish. Cut away the root, discard any wilted outer layers, remove the core, and cut into thin slices.
If you are using packaged pasta start the pasta cooking according to package instructions. Fresh pasta takes less time to cook so it can be added directly to the pan later in the steps; skip to the next step.
Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1-pound mild Italian sausage. Use a wooden spoon to beak up meat as it cooks. Do not worry about breaking the sausage into small pieces. For this recipe you want to keep some chunks so when you bite into it you have a nice solid taste. Cook until no longer pink, about 8 – 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan a let drain on a paper towel.
Veggies & Pasta:
Add the diced onion and shallot to the oil remaining in the pan and cook until tender about 5 – 8 minutes. Stir in the fennel and kale and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with a lid, reducing heat to medium, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add some chicken broth to the pan. How much depends on the pasta. If you are using a packaged pasta that you precooked add about ½ cup chicken broth and let simmer 2 minutes. Add the pasta and enough additional chicken broth to coat but do not add too much are it with become soupy. If you are using fresh pasta add 2 cups of chicken broth and cook for 4 minutes, or until broth has been absorbed into pasta.
Stir in the sausage and 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese. Garnish with fennel fronds.
- 16 ounces pappardelle pasta
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- 1/2 – 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup Romano cheese, grated
- Olive oil, for sautéing
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Drizzle a large saucepan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausage breaking into bite-size pieces while cooking until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and drain excess oil on a paper towel.
Add the onion and shallot to the oil left in the pan, cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in fennel and kale. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover pan with a lid reducing heat to medium, cook for 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup broth; bring to a boil. Add pasta and enough broth to coat the noodles without drowning them. Cook for 4 minutes.
Stir in sausage and cheese. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve immediately.