Dinner/ Italian recipes/ Pasta/ Pork/ Vegetables

Fennel & Pork Sausage Ragù

2 August 2023

With so much amazing fennel available at the moment I need more fennel recipes. Slow cooked with tomatoes, fennel seeds, anchovis, onions, garlic and pork sausage, this dish is so full f flavour you I kept going back for more!

Fennel & Pork Sausage Ragù

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Dinner Italian
By Saffron Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 40 - 45 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 pork sausages, skins removed
  • 2 fennel, thinly sliced, fronds set aside
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3-4 anchovies filets
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 canned whole tomatoes
  • ± 100 ml red wine (or water) for deglazing
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pepper & salt
  • Pasta of choice, like spaghetti, tagliatelle or rigatoni, ± 80 g per person
  • Fennel fronds, roughly chopped



Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan and add the pork sausages. Break them down into smaller pieces with a spatula, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until starting to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside, they don't ned to be cooked through, they will continue to cook in the sauce later.


To the same pan add a small drop of olive oil if needed and add the onions and garlic and a pinch of salt.


Sauté for 1-2 minutes until translucent and fragrant.


Add the thinly sliced fennel and the fennel seeds and mix well so everything is coated.


Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat then add the anchovies, don't worry they will dissolve into the sauce, no need to chop them.


Turn the heat down and sauté on low heat for ± 8 minutes, stirring now and then, making sure it doesn't burn but caramelises (if it's going to fast add a drop of water).


Add the tomato paste and mix well to coat everything, let it sauté for another 2 minutes.


Turn up the heat and add the wine (or water) to deglaze the pan, making sure you scrape all the goodness from the bottom of the pan with a spatula.


Pour in the canned tomatoes, a can of water, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of chili flakes. Bring to a simmer.


Add the sausage meat back to the sauce, together with their resting juices and let the sauce bubble away on low-medium heat for ± 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit.


Taste and season with pepper and salt if needed.


Cook the pasta according to the packaging, cooking it 1 minute less than recommended.


Drain the pasta, setting some of the pasta water aside.


Add the pasta to the sauce and a tablespoon of the pasta water and stir vigorously, this will make the sauce emulsify. Add more pasta water if you'd like a wetter sauce.


Serve with some fresh fennel fronds and a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

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