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Simple sausage and fennel ragu recipe

BY Rachel Walker

1st Jan 2015 Recipes

Simple sausage and fennel ragu recipe
When the nights are still long and many of us are in full hibernation mode—I can’t help but feel like it’s the wrong time for enforced deprivation. I think that moderation is always a far better strategy, and this recipe is a prime example.
It’s not piously healthy, but vitamin-packed tomatoes are a great thing to eat at this time of year. Similarly, a sausage ragu is a cheap meal to produce. I implore you not to scrimp on budget ingredients here—an extra 50p goes a long way in the sausage aisle.


  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 400g good-quality sausages
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 fennel, diced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 175ml glass of red wine (or vegetable stock)
  • ½ tsp Lea & Perrins
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
To serve: fresh tagliatelle and grated parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 120C.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit along the sausages, and then squeeze the meat out of the sausage skin. Heat the oil in a casserole dish, and then fry the sausage meat at a high temperature. Don’t move it in the pan too much—it needs to fry long enough in the oil to so it turns golden and crisp.
  3. After 10 minutes add the onion, diced fennel, rosemary and garlic. Turn down the heat and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  4. Pour the wine into the pan and add a few splashes of Lea & Perrins, for depth of flavour. Finally, add the tomatoes and sugar. Let the sauce reach a gentle simmer, and then transfer the pan to the oven, and cook for a further 2 hours.
  5. Five minutes before serving, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the fresh tagliatelle. Drain, and then divide between four shallow pasta bowls.