Did you know there are two types of fennel that you can grow? There is an herb fennel and a bulb fennel. When I planted fennel in my herb bed, I had no idea that there were different kinds. I thought that I was planting the kind with the anise flavored onion-like bulb at the base. What I was really planting though was herb fennel. Herb fennel doesn't grow the bulb, it grows big flower heads at the top of tall stalks, which dry out and give you fennel seeds! While I like having the seeds, I would have like to have the bulbs even more. I love the licorice like taste of fennel - which is weird because I don't like licorice, but I do like the hint of it in fennel. So, I was intrigued when I found this pasta in the Donna Hay's Magazine Issue Number 77.
I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating - Donna Hay Magazine is one of my most favorite cooking magazines. I used to spend a fortune to get it shipped to me here in the states, but now I enjoy the Donna Hay Magazine iPad app. It is a fantastic way to get her magazine. It has a recipe index with a photo for every recipe and usually some fun videos. I can't recommend it highly enough!
This recipe was excellent! You caramelize the fennel until is is almost like candy and it pairs so well with the pork sausage.
Pork Sausage and Caramelized Fennel Pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound baby fennel chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar I used apple cider
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 pounds pork sausage casing removed
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 small red chillies finely chopped
- 1 pound shell pasta
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- baby chervil leaves and Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the fennel and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and sugar and cook, stirring for about 7-8 minutes, or until it is caramelized.
- Place the fennel in a bowl and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the frying pan and add the sausage, garlic, and chiles. Cook, breaking up lumps for a bout 14-15 minutes. Add the fennel back to the pan with the rest of the vinegar and stir to combine.
- While the pork is cooking, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water, per package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water when draining. Add the pasta and pasta water to the pan and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide between plates and serve with fresh chervil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.
I'm linking up with:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Home Matters @ Life with Lorelai
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