tuscan sausage & fennel ragù with paccheri

This sausage ragù has a rich taste and velvety texture. Good quality, fresh ingredients, cooked low and slow. No Italian sausage? Simply use quality pork sausage and add fennel. Although served here with paccheri, it also works beautifully with pappardelle.

serves 4, prep 15 mins, cook 30 mins

120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g Italian or good quality pork sausage
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
50ml red wine
400ml tomato passata
500g paccheri
4 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan

In a large deep-sided frying pan, add the olive oil and warm on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins or until it is soft.

Remove the sausage meat from the casing and crumble into the onion and garlic. Cook for a further 5 mins until the sausage meat is browned.

Add the fennel seeds, chilli and chopped rosemary. Stir for a minute, then add the wine and turn up the heat. Cook until the wine has completely evaporated.

Add the passata, bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins.

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 8-10 mins or until al dente. Drain and reserve a ladle of pasta water. Return to the pan.

Add the ragù and the reserved pasta water to the pasta to loosen. Cook over a medium heat for a minute stirring continuously.

Serve with pecorino or parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.