Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage

Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage

You know how when you’re really mad at someone and people tell you to write them an email explaining every detail about what you dislike about them, but don’t send it. I’ve decided to start doing that with food. Whenever I am mad at or annoyed with someone, I am going to start cooking them a meal that they would hate. Preferably a meal with something that I have to crush or smash as my own personal anger management.

Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage

I won’t use any names because this person that pissed me off the most recently is probably reading this right now. But I made this Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage to get out my anger toward one certain person that just so happens to hate fennel, sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley, all of which play a role in this pasta. Personally, I loved this pasta dish. Bite-size orecchiette is tossed with sweet roasted fennel, spicy Italian sausage, and a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.

Orecchiette with Roasted Fennel and Sausage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Orecchiette pasta tossed with sweet roasted fennel, spicy Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • 4 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the fennel with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread into an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking up the sausage with the back of a spoon, until cooked through. Add the garlic and wine and cook for about 1 minute, until the wine is evaporated. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, pasta, roasted fennel, and cheese and toss to combine. If needed, add some of the reserved cooking liquid to create a sauce for the pasta.
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis.



  1. Mike says

    I’ve eaten something like this before, but without the fennel.. it does sound interesting adding some roasted fennel in there for a bigger depth of flavor

    Who makes those bowls? or where did you get them from? They are really cool… haven’t seen anything like that before and I like things that are not ordinary :)

  2. Simon P says

    I am trying this tonight but the supermarket didn’t have anything that I would describe as a “small fennel bulb”….can you estimate how much fennel went into this by weight….all I got is one big ol’ fennel and I think it will be enough…if anything I don’t think I want to put it all in….


    • Riley says

      Hi Simon!

      A small fennel bulb is 1-2 inches in diameter. But if you found a big one, that will work great! I hope you enjoy the pasta, it’s one of my favorites!

      • Simon P says

        Thanks for the quick reply Riley…I cut back on the fennel too much but my wife & daughter loved it still. I will definitely be making this again….but with more fennel – I was cautious as I have never roasted fennel before and I was stunned by how much the flavor mellows. Delicious.

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