This was (again) one of those meals that was born from what I like to refer to as "Ingredient Roulette". I take several ingredients from my fridge and pantry and kind of do an "eenie meanie miney mo". Then try to come up with something to make with them. It is fun and keeps me on my toes. Plus it keeps from making a lot of the same old recipes. Not that I really do that much. Although looking back through my posts, there are several I would like to make again for the flavor and/or to redo the picture. I mean, dang, some of my old pictures are just baaaaaaad!!
I love pasta and sausage. To me that is just a win/win no matter what. You don't need a sauce, just some Parmesan cheese and it is good to go. But pasta and sausage and Parmesan cheese is pretty boring right? So I grabbed a few other items and to my stove I went.
Kevin really loved this dish. He ate the leftovers for the next two days!
Pasta with Sausage, Fennel, and Onions
1/2 pound pasta, I used Cavatappi (use pasta with the lines to hold the sauce)
1 pound spicy Italian sausage (if you can't buy it in bulk just cut it out of the casings)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (reserve some of the fronds for garnish)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 lemons, 1 zested and both juiced (you want about 1/4 cup of juice)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta liquid. Return the pasta to the pot.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains. Remove the sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil and butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted add the the onion, mushrooms, and fennel to the skillet. Cook about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and the mushrooms have released their juices. Add the white wine and scrape any brown bits that might remain from the skillet bottom. Add the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the sausage and the Parmesan cheese.
Combine the sausage mixture with the pasta and add some of the cooking water if it seems too dry. Top with Parmesan cheese and chopped fennel fronds.