Sausage and fennel pasta bake
- November 2018
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 20 min
Sausage meatballs and chunky rigatoni are stirred through a rich tomato and fennel sauce, topped with cheesy breadcrumbs and baked until crunchy. It’s a great family meal that everyone will love.
And if you love the sausage and fennel flavour combination, then take a look at this alternative recipe, rigatoni with fennel and sausage ragu.
- 29.4g (12.1g saturated)
- 75.2g (11g sugars)
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 large fennel bulb, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, bruised
- Pinch chilli flakes
- Small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, stalks and leaves chopped separately
- 400g free-range sausages
- 75g sun blush tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 680g jar passata with basil
- 300ml hot chicken stock
- 500g rigatoni pasta
- 125g mozzarella ball, torn
- 35g breadcrumbs
- 75g gruyère, grated
- Heat 3 tsp of the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onion and fennel for 8 minutes until softening and turning golden. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and parsley stalks, stirring until fragrant.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skins into walnut-size balls directly into the frying pan, then cook, stirring well, until beginning to brown on each side.
- Add the sun blush tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and passata. Rinse out the can and jar with the hot stock and add to the pan. Bring up to a simmer, then season well with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain briskly – you don’t want the pasta completely dry.
- Tip the pasta, chopped parsley leaves and mozzarella into the tomato sauce, stir well and transfer to a large baking dish. Toss the breadcrumbs and cheese with the remaining 1 tsp oil and scatter over the pasta. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the sausage balls are cooked through and the bake is piping hot. Serve with a green salad, if you like.
Make the sauce up to 2 days ahead, then cool, cover and chill. Bring to a simmer, then complete the recipe. Or cook the bake, cool, then cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a medium oven until piping hot.
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