Another tasty treat from the Williams Sonoma pasta cookbook. This is really just a lighter, healthier, version of my own tasty treat, Sausage & Leek Cream Sauce.
Here it is:
Fusilli with Braised Fennel, Sweet Sausage and Pecorino
(4 Main Courses or 6 First Courses)
5 TB Olive Oil
4 Leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 Fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds, ground
S/P to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, bulk, or removed from casings
splash of Sherry Vinegar
1 lb fusilli pasta
leaves from 6 sprigs of tarragon, chopped
handful of fresh chopped parsley
1 cup grated pecorino
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
In a large pan, warm 3 TB olive oil over medium heat, add the leeks, sliced fennel, fennel seeds and salt & pepper. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Generously salt the boiling water, add pasta and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the remaining 2 TB olive oil in same pan as before, over high heat. Add sausage, breaking it up and cook until well browned, season with S/P to taste. Pour off most of the fat. Add a splash of sherry vinegar.
Add the fennel/leeks to the sausage, simmer for 1-2 minutes to blend flavors. Make sure to have enough liquid to make a sauce, if not add some water or broth.
Drain the pasta and put in large warmed bowl. Add a drizzle of oil olive, tarragon and parsley and about 3 TB of the cheese. Toss. Add the sausage/fennel/leeks, toss again, serve immediately. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.
It is really tasty, but as I said, mine is better!