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How to prepare sausage and fennel pasta

Sausage and fennel pasta bake

NUTRITION: PER SERVING

CALORIES:  731KCALS
FAT:  29.4G (12.1G SATURATED)
PROTEIN: 37.2G
CARBOHYDRATES:  75.2G (11G SUGARS)
FIBRE:  8G
SALT:  ,2.4G

Ingredients

4 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 large fennel bulb, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, bruised
Pinch chilli flakes
Small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, stalks and leaves chopped separately
400g free-range sausages
75g sun blush tomatoes, roughly chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
680g jar passata with basil
300ml hot chicken stock
500g rigatoni pasta
125g mozzarella ball, torn
35g breadcrumbs
75g gruyère, grated

Method

Heat 3 tsp of the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onion and fennel for 8 minutes until softening and turning golden. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and parsley stalks, stirring until fragrant.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skins into walnut-size balls directly into the frying pan, then cook, stirring well, until beginning to brown on each side.
Add the sun blush tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and passata. Rinse out the can and jar with the hot stock and add to the pan. Bring up to a simmer, then season well with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain briskly – you don’t want the pasta completely dry.
Tip the pasta, chopped parsley leaves and mozzarella into the tomato sauce, stir well and transfer to a large baking dish. Toss the breadcrumbs and cheese with the remaining 1 tsp oil and scatter over the pasta. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the sausage balls are cooked through and the bake is piping hot. Serve with a green salad, if you like.

delicious. tips

Make the sauce up to 2 days ahead, then cool, cover and chill. Bring to a simmer, then complete the recipe. Or cook the bake, cool, then cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a medium oven until piping hot.

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