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Farfalle with Sausage and Fennel


Cooking the links whole and then slicing (rather than trying to slice soft raw sausage) results in neat round coins that stay super juicy. Feel free to use hot Italian sausage in place of sweet, but omit the crushed pepper flakes if you do.

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (10 Votes)


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links)
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. dried farfalle
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. coarsely grated Pecorino-Romano (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Adapted from


Step 1

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning often, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.

Add the onion, fennel, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt to the skillet. Stir, cover, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water, drain the pasta, and return to it the pot, off the heat. Cover while finishing the sauce.

Uncover the skillet and add the sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, another 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Slice the sausage 1/4 inch thick. Add the sausage, half the cheese, and the remaining 1 cup of pasta water to the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens somewhat, about 5 minutes. Toss the sauce, parsley, and the remaining cheese with the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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