1 1/4 pounds Chicken Basque Sausage
3 tbsp. Olive oil
3 cups chopped Fennel (1 large bulb)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow Onion
2 tsp. minced Garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 tsp. Whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white Wine
1 cup heavy Cream
2/3 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp. Tomato paste
1 oz. Rigatoni
1.2 cup chopped Parsley leaves
1 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, divided
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onions and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste.
Bring back to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt, and cook the rigatoni according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and 1⁄2 cup of the Parmesan. Serve hot in shallow bowls with the remaining 1⁄2 cup Parmesan on the side.
Recipe credits: Ina Garten
Photo credits: Quentin Bacon