Artichoke, Fennel, and Sausage Fusilli

Mmmm...the tomatoes and cheese make it look very yummy.  Too bad it was blah.

Mmmm...the tomatoes and cheese make it look very yummy. Too bad it was blah.

We found this recipe in an old Sunset Magazine. I’ll copy it as is, and then tell you the changes I made.

Artichoke, Fennel, and Sausage Fusilli
1 head fennel (about 3-in. diameter)
4 oz. mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup slivered red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
5 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
1/3 cup fat-skimmed chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons whipping cream
6 oz. fusilli pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Rinse the fennel and cut off course stalks, reserving some of the feathery green leaves.  Trim and discard base and any discolored or bruised parts from fennel bulb, then thinly slice bulb crosswise.
  2. Crumble sausages into a 2 to 3 quart pan over medium high heat; stir often with a wooden spoon, breaking up chunks, until sausages begin to brown and stick to pan bottom, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add sliced fennel, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds to pan.  Cook, stirring often, until vegetables just begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add artichokes, broth, wine, and cream.  Increase to high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until artichokes are tender when pierced, about 5 minutes.
  4. Cook pasta in boiling water.
  5. Drain pasta well, return to pan.  Add sauce; mix with forks.  Garnish with fennel leaves and serve with cheese.

OK, so the picture in the cookbook looked so yummy, but I’m not a big fennel fan.  So I omitted that.  Used turkey sausage to be a bit healthier.  I also oven roasted some cherry tomatoes, because pasta without tomatoes makes me sad, and threw those in.  I tripled the recipe, because this recipe only serves 2, and I wanted enough for leftovers, etc.

My verdict?  C+.  I don’t know if it was the missing fennel, or the turkey sausage, or what, but it was bland and somewhat soupy.  I ate it, and it wasn’t horrid, but at this point, I’m wishing I didn’t have so much of it left in the fridge.   Ted tried adding some crushed red peppers to his, and he said it helped quite a bit.

Don’t you love when I post a recipe that I just didn’t love?   Consider it a warning perhaps.

This entry was posted in Recipes.

3 thoughts on “Artichoke, Fennel, and Sausage Fusilli

  1. I would have been suckered in by the photo too… it does sound delish. But I’m also not a huge fan of fennel, but I love sausage and artichokes. Thanks for the warning, BTW :).

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