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Pasta with Sausage, Olive and Fennel Seed Ragù
This comforting pasta dish calls on a handful of high-impact ingredients, packing immense flavor into a simple ragù. Fennel seeds and Italian sausage are cooked together—bringing a double punch of aromatic, anise-y notes. Then crisp white wine, aromatic vegetables and tomato puree are incorporated, adding layers of sweet-tart complexity. Fresh oregano and grated pecorino Romano contribute peppery flavor and sharp creaminess, while chopped olives provide pops of brininess. Either black or green olives—or even a mix—are terrific here, but since the olives figure prominently in the sauce, make sure they’re good-quality (pass on canned olives, which lack both texture and flavor). We recommend sticking with pitted olives, though, as removing the pits can be a fussy, time-consuming task. The ragù pairs beautifully with just about any pasta shape, from basic spaghetti to flat, ruffled farfalle to chunky, snail-shaped pipette, even gnocchi.
cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
tablespoons fennel seeds