I’ve never really been a major fan of fennel, it always seemed like one of those fancy vegetables that chefs use that doesn’t really taste of anything – this was my view a few years ago because now I love it! The aniseed flavour goes well in so many dishes and this Sausage Pappardelle recipe that uses both fresh fennel and fennel seeds in abundance has become a family favourite and we eat it regularly in our house.
The original recipe takes more than 2 hours to cook, uses red wine and instructs that you must make your own pasta, which I don’t – perhaps I should, but that’s a skill that I’m far from mastering. These days I don’t have 2-hours for a leisurely cooking session and I’m all over quick family healthy meals that can be served from the hob to the plate in less than 30 minutes. My adapted version of this recipe is ready in just over 30 minutes and is packed full of a rainbow of vegetables.
- 1 fennel diced
- 1 aubergine diced
- 1 butternut squash diced
- 1 courgette diced
- 6 Cumberland sausages (leave out if you want a vegetarian meal)
- 400 g passata
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Prepare the vegetables and dice them into small pieces, lie them flat on a grease proof baking sheet and drizzle with a 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and set aside. This can be done ahead of time.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting, take the sausages and remove the meat from the skin.
In a pan heat a little coconut oil and add the diced fennel and sausage meat and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Breakdown the sausage meat using a wooden spoon so it resembles mince meat.
Add the grated garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes and cook for 2 minutes before adding the passata.
Allow the pasta sauce to simmer on a low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes until it has thickened and reduced.
At the very end, remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and stir into the sauce.
Season to taste and serve on top of courgetti or your favourite pasta.
Cooking time includes roasting the vegetables which can be done ahead of time. If you are leaving out the sausage meat the cooking time is significantly reduced.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
If you are struggling to get your family to eat more vegetables then a pasta sauce is the perfect way to bulk up their intake. This recipe contains 4 vegetables in the sauce alone and can easily be bumped up to 5 if you decide to serve it with courgetti instead of pasta. Seriously, my spiraliser has revolutionised my meal times when I’ve planned a pasta dish for dinner for the family but don’t actually feel like eating pasta.
We got 4 decent sized portions from this recipe because all the vegetables really pack out the sauce. Of course, this can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the sausage meat, which would still leave a hearty sauce, alternatively you could bulk it up with some lentils or beans.