Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

by Food Network
Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

Ingredients

·3 tablespoons olive oil
·3 cups chopped fennel
·1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
·1 and 1/4 pounds Italian sausage, casings removed
·2 cloves garlic, minced
·1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
·1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
·Salt and freshly ground black pepper
·1 cup dry white wine
·1 cup heavy cream
·2/3 cup half-and-half
·2 tablespoons tomato paste
·1 pound rigatoni, cooked according to package instructions
·1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
·1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, then saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add sausage and cook for 7-8 minutes, crumbling with a fork, until nicely browned. Add garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Then, add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste and bring back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Add cooked rigatoni to the sauce, then toss to coat. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. Turn off the heat, stir in parsley and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Separate into serving bowls and top with another sprinkle of Parmesan, then enjoy!

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