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Pasta with Fennel and Sausage

Pasta with Fennel and Sausage is spicy, sweet, creamy, and only six ingredients! Thanks to its minimal ingredient list and easy prep, this pasta is quick to throw together for a date-night in, or even a busy weeknight dinner.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta with fennel, pasta with fennel and sausage,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 414 kcal
Author Nicole


  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lb spicy italian sausage
  • 3/4 lb rigatoni
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Trim the fennel. Cut the stem off. Reserve the feathery fennel fronds and chop finely. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise. Peel off any bruised or wilted layers. Cut into thin slices.

  3. Toss the sliced fennel with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast until the fennel is caramelized, about 20 minutes. 

  4. While the fennel cooks, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Heat a large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage as it cooks. 

  5. When the sausage is cooked through, drop the pasta into the boiling water, along with a good amount of salt. Cook until aldente. 

  6. Add the white wine to the sausage. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits at the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half and then add the cream and another 1/2 teaspoon. Continue to simmer while the pasta cooks. 

  7. When the pasta is aldente, use a slotted spoon or sieve to transfer the pasta to the sausage, wine, and cream. Reserve pasta water. Toss the pasta in the sauce along with 1/4 cup of starchy cooking liquid and remaining salt.

  8. Turn the heat down to low and sprinkle a little bit of the cheese over the pasta along with half of the fennel fronds, toss, repeat again until the cheese is completely added. Continue to toss the pasta with the sauce and cheese until everything has nicely coated the pasta. If needed, add more pasta water to loosen the sauce up. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Nutrition Facts
Pasta with Fennel and Sausage
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 414 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 649mg28%
Potassium 349mg10%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 562IU11%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 146mg15%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.