Proper blokes' sausage fusilli

This is a real blokey, gutsy yet simple pasta dish – but saying that, girls tend to like it as well! It hasn't really got a sauce of any description because all the flavour that comes out of the ingredients will stick to the pasta and that's enough. I will even go so far as to say that this is one of my top ten pasta dishes! Remember to buy the best sausages you can afford – if you get cheap, dodgy sausages it just won't work.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)


Serves 4   Approx time: 30   Difficulty: super easy


  • 2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies, crumbled
  • olive oil
  • 400 g quality coarse Italian or Cumberland sausages
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 small wineglass white wine
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of
  • 320 g good-quality fusilli or penne
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 small handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra for serving
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped


Bash up the fennel seeds and chillies in a pestle and mortar or Flavour Shaker until coarsely crushed, then put to one side. Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Squeeze the meat out of the sausage skins and put into the pan, really breaking it up using the back of a spoon. Fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to colour and the fat has rendered slightly, then crush it once more so it resembles coarse mince. Add the bashed-up fennel seeds and chillies and cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes until the meat becomes crisp, golden brown and slightly caramelized.

Stir in your oregano, then pour in the white wine and allow it to reduce by half. Add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the heat down to low while you cook your pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. When the pasta has cooked al dente, drain it in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water, and toss it in the pan with your sausagemeat. Coat the pasta in all the lovely flavours then add a lug of olive oil, the Parmesan, chopped parsley and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water. This will give you a lovely loose, shiny sauce. Taste and check for seasoning, then serve immediately with a little extra grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Copyright © 2014