Ziti with Sausage, Onion, and Fennel from Lidia’s Favorite Recipes

I’ve been totally slacking on the recipe posts my friends, and I promise I will make it up to you with some yummy in your tummy receipes soon enough! I have joined a great group of my foodie blogger friends on an upcoming giveaway! It has plenty of prizes to go around so get ready!

One of the prizes is the fabulous cookbook – Lidia’s Favorite Recipes.  If you love Italian food then you should definitely get to know Lidia’s Italy.  To generate a little excitement for the giveaway, I am happy to share an amazing recipe from Tara over at Noshing with the Nolands.

Thank you, Tara, for sharing your lovely Ziti with Sausage, Onion and Fennel.
It looks amazing!

 Photo credit – Noshing With The Nolands

Salt for the pasta water
1 lb. ziti
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (without fennel seeds)
1 large fennel bulb, about 1 pound
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used 1/4 cup)
2 medium onions, cut into half moon slices
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup finely chopped fennel fronds
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add the ziti. Cook until not quite al dente. Drain reserving 3 cups pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, remove sausage from it’s casing and break up with your fingers. Trim the fennel bulb and remove the outer tough parts. Save the fronds. Slice the bulb in half lengthwise and remove the core. Slice each half into 1/4″ by 2″ slices and set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or pot and add the sausage breaking up further as it cooks for about 1 1/2 minutes. Do not cook the sausage through. Push the sausage aside and add the onion slices into the cleared part of the pan. Stirring until the sizzle and wilt about 2 min., stir into the meat.
4. Clear a new space and add the fennel and let it heat up for about 1 mn.
5. Clear another spot and toast the red pepper flakes for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Now clear a big spot in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook stirring in that spot for 1-2 min. until it sizzles and caramelizes. Then stir into the rest or the ingredients.
6. Stir in the reserved pasta water, combining well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until the flavors have developed, and the sauce is thickened and the fennel is cooked about 6 min. Season to taste and add more water if it is too thick.
7. Add the cooked ziti and stir to combine and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente.
8. Sprinkle with the fronds and parmesan and serve right out of the pot or onto a warmed platter.

I will definitely have to give this recipe a try! Pasta is one of my husband’s favorite things to eat, and hopefully I can take a picture as pretty delicious looking as Tara’s!

Mark your calendar too! Be sure to come back to the kitchen, because our Giveaway Extravaganza is coming up fast! You don’t want to miss it!

What is your favorite ingredient to add to ziti?


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