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Recipe: Sausage, chilli and fennel pasta

emmet-sausage-fennel-pasta-via-francigenaOne of the things I love about Italy is the food. The variety and quality mean that there is something for just about every taste and mood. This is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It’s quick, simple and tasty. It’s proper comfort food. Recipes like this are most common in the Tuscany region of Italy.

500g Good quality sausages (80% pork or higher if possible)

2 heaped teaspoons dried chilli

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds

250ml white wine

Juice of 1 lemon

500g fusilli pasta

20g parmesan cheese

Some fresh parsley or basil to garnish

  • Using a pestle and mortar crush the fennel seeds along with the chilli flakes until the mixture is fairly fine.
  • Heat some olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins and into the pan. Break up the mince with a wooden spoon.
  • Fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to brown.
  • Add the chilli, fennel seeds and oregano and stir well.
  • Fry on a medium heat for about 10 minutes (until the meat starts to become golden brown and caramelised).
  • Pour in the white wine and allow to reduce by half.
  • Add the lemon juice and turn the heat down to low.
  • Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water (according to the cooking instructions)
  • When the pasta is al-dente, drain it in a colander and keep about half a cup of the cooking water.
  • Pour the reserved cooking water into the sausage mix and let it cook for a minute or two.
  • Empty the pasta into the sausage mix, add in the parmesan (grated) and toss together well.
  • Season with salt and pepper (taste first as the sausages may already be a bit salty).
  • Serve immediately with the parsley or basil and grated parmesan sprinkled on top.

NOTE: This recipe will work with any type of pasta. Remember the key to Italian cooking: Keep it simple!

If you are planning your walk on the Via Francigena, the Camino to Rome, you can sample recipes like this on the Tuscan section of the route from Lucca to Siena.

For more information about our walking and cycling tours in Tuscany contact our Travel Specialists.