Help support the small independant vendors of the historic St. Lawrence Market

Sweet Italian Sausage & Fennel Penne

Serves: 4


  • Kosher salt
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large fennel bulb (about 1-1/2 lb.), halved, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 10 oz. dried penne
  • 1 oz. finely grated Pecorino Romano (1 cup using a rasp grater); more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up into smaller pieces with the edge of a slotted metal spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use the spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper-towel lined plate and pour off any fat left in the skillet.
  2. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the fennel, sage, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is softened, and the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked sausage and chicken broth and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the penne in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 11 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot over medium-high heat and stir in the sausage mixture until well combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and enough reserved pasta water to moisten, if necessary. Distribute among 4 bowls and sprinkle with additional cheese.

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