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Rick Stein’s Fennel and Sausage Ragù with Tagliatelle

Rick Stein's luscious sausage ragù is rich with cream, fragrant with fennel and served with homemade tagliatelle for pure indulgence.

From the book

Introduction

This is the sort of pasta dish I always seek out in Italian restaurants because I love fennel-flavoured sausages. At home, I find it’s easiest to reproduce the flavour by using good-quality sausage meat and adding fennel seeds, chilli, garlic, rosemary, salt and black pepper. What I love about this dish is that it is nurtured with plenty of cream and served with home-made egg tagliatelle.

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Ingredients

400g coarse pork sausage meat or 400g sausages, skins removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, grated
2 celery sticks, chopped
¾ tsp fennel seeds, roughly ground
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 fresh rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
150ml dry white wine
150ml double cream
150ml Chicken stock
50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to serve
salt and black pepper
For the pasta dough:
400g 00 pasta flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt

Method

For the pasta, combine the flour, eggs and salt in a food processor. Tip the mixture out on to a work surface and bring it together in a ball of dough. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20–30 minutes. Roll out the pasta into a couple of sheets about 2mm thick. Run them through a pasta machine, or use a knife to cut them into 5mm-wide ribbons. Hang them over the back of a chair or a broom handle to dry.

Break up the sausage meat into a large ovenproof pan and add half the oil to start with. If the sausage meat is fatty, it might render quite a bit of fat and you won’t need the rest of the oil; if it’s quite dry, you will. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the onion, garlic, celery, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and rosemary, season, then cook for a further 15 minutes. Pour in the wine, cook for few minutes until reduced by half, then add the cream and stock.

Put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for half an hour – take the lid off near the end if the sauce needs thickening up.

Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water for about 4 minutes until al dente. Drain, add to the ragù pan and mix. Serve in warmed bowls with freshly grated Parmesan.

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From the book: Rick Stein at Home: Recipes, Memories and Stories from a Food Lover’s Kitchen

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