Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

This is a great make ahead dish and looked mediocre before baking it, even if you don’t have to according to Ina.

For the fennel, if you’re curious, you taste it but not in a strong way.

Directions for Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb)
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground sausage (sweet/Italian)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound rigatoni (or other tube pasta)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion, sauteing until tender (about 5-10 minutes).

Add the sausage and cook it until browned (5-8 minutes).

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for one minute, then add the wine and bring it to a boil.

Add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste.

Again bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer it for 20 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni 1-2 minutes before al dente. Then add the drained pasta to the sauce, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and half of the Parmesan.

Spoon the pasta into a 9×13 inch greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top, then cover and refrigerate for several hours up to a day.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees F when ready.

Directions for Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel (without pictures)

Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb)
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground sausage (sweet/Italian)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound rigatoni (or other tube pasta)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion, sauteing until tender (about 5-10 minutes). Add the sausage and cook it until browned (5-8 minutes). Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for one minute, then add the wine and bring it to a boil. Add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste.

Again bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer it for 20 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni 1-2 minutes before al dente. Then add the drained pasta to the sauce, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and half of the Parmesan.

Spoon the pasta into a 9×13 inch greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top, then cover and refrigerate for several hours up to a day. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees F when ready.

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