Sausage and Fennel Pasta

You want a filling, tasty dinner but you don’t feel like spending a ton of time in the kitchen…or at the grocery store. How about this sausage and fennel pasta recipe from Sabrina Snyder’s new cookbook, Dinner Then Dessert? It’s practically overflowing with flavor but requires just six ingredients and 25 minutes to make.

“The Italian sausage does a lot of the heavy lifting in this recipe,” Snyder writes, “because it has so much built-in seasoning, which means you can achieve a very flavorful dish with fewer ingredients.” You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into pieces) or andouille sausage, too, if that’s more your style.

“This is flavor-packed as it is,” she continues, “but if you’d like to serve it with some grated Parmesan cheese on top, that would be delicious.”

Pass the Parm, please and thanks.

From the book Dinner Then Dessert by Sabrina Snyder. Copyright © 2021 by Sabrina Snyder. Reprinted courtesy of Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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Sausage and Fennel Pasta

Servings: 6 servings



Kosher salt

1 pound (455g) orecchiette

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the pasta

1 pound (455g) Italian sausage, sweet or spicy

1 bulb fennel—trimmed and thinly sliced, reserving fennel fronds for garnish if desired

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute shy of the package directions. Drain, transfer to a bowl, and toss with oil to keep the pasta from sticking; set aside.

2. Slice open the casings of the sausage and remove the ground pork.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until well browned, about 5 minutes.

4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Add the sliced fennel to the pan, along with the pepper and salt to taste and cook until the fennel is softened, about 4 minutes.

5. Add the pasta and sausage to the pan and toss to heat through. Serve.

Note: If you don’t feel like cooking this in a skillet, you can toss the sausage and sliced fennel on a sheet pan and roast them at 375°F for 18 to 20 minutes. If you don’t have fresh fennel, you can substitute 1 teaspoon fennel seeds or 2 red or green bell peppers, cored, seeded and sliced.

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