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overhead shot of pasta on white plate with silver fork on wooden background
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5 from 1 vote

Sausage and Fennel Pasta

This sausage and fennel pasta is wrapped in a dreamy cream sauce. It's quick, easy and outrageously delicious!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 829kcal
Cost: £2 / $2.50


  • Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Large Pot & Colander
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Jug (for stock & Cream)


  • 12.3oz / 350g Penne Pasta (or other short cut pasta)
  • 9oz / 250g Smoked Sausage, sliced into small rounds (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 240ml Chicken Stock (preferably low salt)
  • 1 cup / 240ml Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
  • 1 medium bulb of Fresh Fennel, halved, cored, and thinly sliced (around the size of a large onion)
  • 1 medium White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 fat cloves of Garlic, finely diced/minced
  • 1 heaped tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 pinches of Smoked Paprika, to serve
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste


  • Sausage: In a large pan over medium-high heat add a drizzle of olive oil. Add in your sausage slices, then spread out and leave to fry until they begin to crisp & brown. Flip the pieces over, then fry until the other side goes nice and crispy. Remove from pan and lower heat to medium.
  • Onion & Fennel: melt in 2 tbsp butter, then add in your slices of onion & fennel. Fry until golden and soft (around 10mins) then add in garlic and fry for a couple of minutes longer. Add sausage back in.
  • Pasta: Pop your pasta in heavily salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain when needed, scooping a cup of starchy pasta water out just beforehand.
  • Sauce: Pour in stock and cream, then add in thyme and give it a good stir. Keep on a simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally (another 10mins or so). Stir in parmesan then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in pasta and stir to coat, using your starchy pasta water to thin out if needed. The sauce should coat the pasta nicely. If it's too thin/watery just keep in on a simmer and stir until it begins to cling to the pasta.
  • Serve: Serve up individual portions with a few pinches of smoked paprika. Enjoy!



a) Sausage - You preferably want it pre-cooked/smoked. If you're in the UK then Mattessons smoked sausage does the job nicely. You can also use uncooked sausage, you'll just obviously have to fry in until it's fully cooked through. Sweet Italian sausage works great. In all cases just make sure it's pork you're using.
b) Fennel - Fennel has a very pungent smell/taste when it's raw, but when you cook in down in butter it mellows out nicely. Fresh fennel works best here because you get the added texture (in comparison to fennel seeds).
c) Starchy Pasta Water - Important to make sure you not only heavily season the pasta water (so it doesn't dilute the flavour of the sauce) but also important to make sure you scoop it out JUST before draining, just so it's nice and starchy. The more starchy it is the better it'll emulsify the sauce. You may not need to use much at all, the sauce does dry out quickly though so it's nice to have just in case.
d) Storage - Allow to cool and tightly cover in the fridge for 2-3 days. I recommend reheating over low heat on the stove with a splash of milk or stock to loosen up the sauce. I don't recommend using the microwave, creamy pasta dishes tend to go greasy upon reheating if you don't loosen up the sauce again over low heat.
e) Calories - Based on the whole recipe shared between 4 people. Calories per serving.


Calories: 829kcal | Carbohydrates: 79.09g | Protein: 20.15g | Fat: 49.44g | Saturated Fat: 24.378g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17.557g | Trans Fat: 0.11g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 825mg | Potassium: 715mg | Fiber: 11.7g | Sugar: 4.14g | Vitamin A: 2120IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 2.22mg