A combination of rigatoni, Italian sausage, fennel topped with parsley and parmesan cheese. A terrific comfort meal to warm you up on these bitter, cold January days. Surprise your family with this delicious Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel!
There is something about cooking up some creamy, delicious pasta topped with some sausage and cheese that satisfies more than your taste buds. Especially when your four year-old raves and asks you to make it every day for the rest of the year! 😉 Now that is a sure way to get mommy to smile!
That is happiness!
Happiness-“a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life,” according to Psychology Today. What makes me happy these days?! Well, I love being around family because wherever life takes you, they are still right behind you. I love movie nights with my husband and kids and then tucking them into bed. I love this new door that has opened that will allow me to stay home with my kids and focus on them and 3SS. Last but not least this amaazin rigatoni with sausage and fennel is definitely making me HAPPY TODAY!
Loving this big fat colander full of freshly cooked rigatoni…
This rigatoni and sausage recipe comes from my new cookbook I received for Christmas, Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten. The book is fabulous. It has fun and interesting recipes in it that sound wonderful. This is the first recipe I have made from it and if they all turn out this great I will be ecstatic!
I like cooking with sausage every now and then because it adds so much flavor to recipes before any other seasonings are mixed in with it. The fennel bulb, onion, and fennel seed along with the cream make up the sauce for this dish. The fennel seed calls to be crushed with a mortar and pestle. I just used a large spoon and small bowl and that worked well. Let me know your thoughts on this recipe!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped
- 1½ cups chopped yellow onion, about half of a large onion
- 1 pound Italian sausage, I used ground and it worked well for this recipe
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound rigatoni
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the fennel bulb and onion and sauté for 7-10 minutes. Stir occasionally or at least once a minute.
- Add in the sausage and cook until well-browned or for nearly another 10 minutes at medium-high heat.
- Mix in the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste. Combine ingredients.
- Bring contents to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook rigatoni according to the directions on the package. Drain pasta and add it to the sauce, stirring to coat all of the rigatoni.
- Cook on low for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.
- Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Serve pasta and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.