Friday, March 21, 2008

FOOD FRIDAY!


APPLE-MAPLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE WITH FENNEL

Since my main cooking this week was all things I've recently shared, I don't have anything new to put up today. So here's another favorite from about a year ago that is worth the repeat.

This one is purely my own invention, mothered by my love of fennel and desire to use those cool, uniquely flavored pre-cooked chicken sausages in the meat case (usually by Adele's). The sweet of the sausage and fennel marries well with the savory of the rest of the ingredients. It's a quick, low-calorie, different and easy weekday dinner. And it tastes good.

Notes: Recipes using fennel never say to, but I chop what there is of the stalks thinly and incorporate them into the dish. They have a strong fennel flavor and add an interesting crunch. Up to you. Same goes for the feathery top fronds. A few make a nice garnish and add a bit of flavor. Choice of pasta: I just like wide, ribbony pasta so tend toward tagliatelle or at least fettucine. But use what you like.

12 oz. ribbon-type pasta of your choice

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 package (12 oz.) pre-cooked chicken sausage flavored with apple and maple, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 medium fennel bulb with stalks and fronds
1 large red onion, cut into wedges pole-to-pole
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small (15-oz.) can whole tomatoes, undrained, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Cut stalks and fronds off of fennel, cut fennel bulb in half pole-to-pole, and cut into thick slices. If desired, chop stalks into thin slices, and chop a few fronds into small pieces. Set aside, separating fronds for garnish.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add sausage slices and toss until sugars in meat begin to sear to a deep brown. (It's OK if spots look almost burned.) Remove from skillet and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil, add sliced fennel bulbs and stalks, if using, onions and garlic and toss until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice and salt and pepper, stir to mix, and simmer to meld flavors, 5-10 minutes. Stir in sautéed sausage slices and heat through.

Drain pasta and return to cooking pot. Add sauce to pasta, toss to mix. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

2 comments:

Zoey & Me said...

WOW. . . gotta try this one too!

Anonymous said...

Thx Ralph--can't wait to try it! Judy 18 Sept, 08 4:56 p.m.