Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sausage Fennel Rigatoni - April Pasta of the Month

It's that time already!  It seems like I just did a pasta of the month post for March.  Time continues to fly by! 

I've been meaning to try a brand of chicken Italian sausage that Trader Joe's carries, but every time I went there they were sold out!  This time I grabbed the last package on the shelf and threw it in the freezer for a later date.  Usually, as the weather warms we fire up the barbecue and make Italian sausage sandwiches.  The weather is still quite fickle; the barbecue remains in the shed.

When in doubt, make pasta!  I've been using fennel in some of my creations because it is one of those wonder veggies along with beets, broccoli and asparagus.  Some of my personal favorites.  While I'm not making any medical claims, I have read about different studies where fennel is used as a treatment for glaucoma,  and as a diuretic to reduce bloating.  Let's use it in pasta!


3 chicken Italian sausage links, removed from casing and crumbled

1/2 c onion, sliced

2 T olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bulb fennel

1/2 c red bell pepper, sliced

hand full of chopped fresh basil

1/2 pkg or 1/2 lb of rigatoni

Start boiling water for pasta and cook according to directions.   Meanwhile in a large skillet brown the sausage on medium high.  Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same skillet, saute onion and fennel in oil on medium heat and when soft, add the garlic and red pepper.

Ready to add the pasta

 Continue to cook until softened.   Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the water (about 3 ladles).  Add the sausage and  pasta to the skillet and mix well.  Add some pasta water along with a drizzle of olive oil and the basil.  Mix again and serve.  This would be very easy to double for a larger family.  We had about 5-6 healthy servings from this!  Enjoy! 


  1. Pasta, basil and sausage unbeatable combination of flavors!

  2. I love your plate---colorful and yummilicous

  3. I love this photo and the dish.. would love to dive right in! Happy Easter!

  4. Thanks, all.. Have a nice Easter!