Sausage Ragù with Fennel Seeds and Tagliatelle

February 7, 2023

The recipe below is not mine but Rick Stein’s,  and it comes from his weekend travels away, here to Bologna.

In Italy pork sausage meat* is used very widely for a ragù instead of plain minced pork meat.

The sausages are of such high quality, just pork meat and a little bit of herbs for extra flavour.

Outside of Italy however, they are not always easily obtainable, so instead, use a good quality coarse pork sausage meat or just plain minced pork, making sure to season the ragù well.

Serves 4:

  • 400 g of a good quality coarse pork sausage meat, preferably an Italian sausage meat* (or plain minced pork)
  • about 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp of fennel seeds, lightly toasted and then roughly ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 small dry chilli pepper, left whole
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 150 ml of dry white wine
  • 130-150 ml of double cream
  • 150 ml of chicken stock
  • about 50 g of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • tagliatelle pasta, allow 80-100 g per portion

Heat up a little bit of olive oil in a large lidded pan.

Break the sausage into small pieces and add them to the pan.

Cook for about 10 minutes on a medium heat stirring from time to time. If the sausage meat has released a generous portion of fat, scoop it out and discard.

Add the onion, celery, fennel seeds, rosemary, chilli pepper and garlic, then cook for further 15 minutes.

Pour in the wine and cook until it has reduced its volume by half. Next add the cream and the chicken stock.

Season with salt and pepper then put the lid on and simmer gently for half an hour or so.

When ready to serve cook your pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente (check the cooking time on the packaging).

Drain the pasta (keeping a little bit of the water from cooking the pasta), add to the pan with the ragù and mix in. If the sauce seems too dry, stir in some water after cooking the pasta.

Serve immediately in separate plates with some grated Parmesan on top.