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Fusili with Sausage, Fennel & Red Wine

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This recipe is from At Home in Provence by Patricia Wells, with some minor modifications. Doug posted this on SlowTrav during the winter, and it's become a family favorite. I used store-made Italian turkey sausage from Whole Foods, and like Doug, I changed the amount of tomato paste.

Fusili with Sausage, Fennel & Red Wine

Ingredients:

1 pound (500 g) bulk sausage meat,(pork or turkey, or a combo) broken into small pieces
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 can tomato paste (plop the leftovers onto wax paper to freeze, tip from Kim)
2 cups (50 cl) dry red wine, such as Chianti
2 eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup (1 ounce, 30g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt
1 pound (500 g) dried Italian pasta, such as fusili or penne
About 1 cup (25cl) pasta cooking water (you won't need it all)

Directions:

1. In a skillet large enough to hold the pasta later on, brown the meat with no additional fat over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. With the end of a spatula, continue to break up the sausage pieces into fine bits of meat. Add the fennel seeds and tomato paste, toss to blend, and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Slowly add the wine, pouring it all over the surface of the pan. Adjust the heat to bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, until most of the wine – and alcohol – have cooked off, about 15 minutes from the time the liquid comes to a simmer. Taste for seasoning.

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2. Place the eggs in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in the cheese and a generous grinding of pepper. Set aside.

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3. In a large pot, bring 6 quarts (6 l) of water to a roiling boil. When the water boils, add 3 tablespoons of salt and the pasta, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook until tender but firm to the bite, 9 to 11 minutes. Carefully drain the pasta, leaving a few drops of water clinging to the pasta to that the sauce will adhere. Reserve 1 cup (25 cl) of cooking water.

4. Add the pasta to the skillet with the sausage meat and use two forks to toss thoroughly, evenly coating the pasta with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and, working quickly with two forks, stir in the egg mixture. Continue to toss until each pieces of pasta is evenly coated with the sauce. (The pasta should not be dry; if it is add the pasta water, tablespoon by tablespoon, tossing after each addition, to create a smooth, clinging sauce.) Serve immediately in warmed shallow soup bowls. Pass the pepper mill.

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Comments (4)

Kim:

Gotta remember this next week!

Looks yummy! I'll try this sometime soon but without the fennel seeds. Can't eat them.

sandrac:

Amy, this looks great!

Marcia:

Oh yum, and a recipe that has ingredients that David will eat, something for next week for sure.

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