Fennel Sausage Pasta. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)
Photo: Linda Gassenheimer
Photo: Linda Gassenheimer

Try fennel sausage pasta for a hearty but easy meal

Sausage, fennel, onion and tomatoes make a robust pasta topping.

Turkey sausage flavored with fennel can be found in many markets. Look for mild or sweet Italian sausage.

Fennel is a sometimes called sweet anise. It’s a large white bulb with celery-like stems and green, feathery leaves. It has a mild anise or licorice flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Helpful Hints:

— Any type of pasta can be used.

— Any type of sausage can be used.

— Celery can be substituted for fennel. The flavor will be changed, but the recipe still tasty.

— Chop fennel and onion in a food processor.

Countdown:

— Place water for pasta on to boil.

— Prepare ingredients.

— Cook pasta.

— Complete recipe.

Shopping List:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1/2 pound lean, turkey sausage, 1 medium fennel bulb, 1 small head cauliflower, 1 small bunch parsley (optional), 1 small can no-salt-added crushed tomato and 1 package spaghetti,

Staples: Onion, olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

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FENNEL AND SAUSAGE PASTA

1/2 pound lean turkey sausage

3 teaspoons olive oil, divided use

1 medium fennel bulb, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

1 cup cauliflower florets broken into small pieces

1/4 pound spaghetti

1 cup canned, no-salt-added, crushed tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Place a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts water on to boil for spaghetti. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute 2 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet to a plate and add the chopped fennel, onion and cauliflower. Saute 5 minutes. As the vegetables start to color, return the sausage to the skillet for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and add the tomatoes for 1 minute to warm through.

As soon as the water comes to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti and cook 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and add to the skillet with the tomatoes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, sausage and vegetables. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle parsley on top. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 541 calories (29 percent from fat), 17.4 g fat (3.5 g saturated, 8.1 g monounsaturated), 84 mg cholesterol, 32.8 g protein, 64.6 g carbohydrates, 8.2 g fiber, 753 mg sodium.

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