Caramelized Fennel Paccheri with Sausage & Pistachios

A big bowl of caramelized fennel paccheri! Large, tube-shaped pasta tossed in a white wine butter sauce with italian sausage, onions & fennel, lots of garlic, wilted spinach, grated pecorino cheese, fresh herbs, and buttery pistachios over top! Easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, yet special enough to make for a dinner party…just add a big salad alongside!

Caramelized Fennel Paccheri

Caramelized Fennel Paccheri

caramelized fennel paccheri – the details

One of the most popular pastas on the blog over the years has been this spicy paccheri with sausage & greens. It’s a great winter pasta with wilted chard and hints of fried rosemary.

I was craving this recipe one night recently, but decided to make a slightly more “springy” version. It’s still cozy and comforting with hearty sausage flavor and a silky-smooth white wine butter sauce, but it has some springtime additions – caramelized fennel, fresh spinach, lots of herbs, and buttery pistachios.

Caramelized Fennel Paccheri

Caramelized Fennel Paccheri

And the result was DELICIOUS. So of course I had to share it with you. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for more spring pasta recipes, here are a few to try:

Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Asparagus Pasta with Whipped Ricotta & Breadcrumbs
Spring Vegetable Brown Butter Gnocchi

Print

Caramelized Fennel Paccheri with Sausage & Pistachios

paccheri tossed in a white wine butter sauce with italian sausage, caramelized onions & fennel, lots of garlic, wilted spinach, grated pecorino cheese, fresh herbs, and buttery pistachios over top

servings: 4

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • olive oil, as needed
  • ½ lb raw, mild italian sausage
  • ¾ lb paccheri
  • kosher salt
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored + thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ lb fresh spinach
  • ¾ cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for topping
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and let it melt. Add the chopped pistachios. Toast for a minute or so until fragrant. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break it into smaller pieces as it begins to brown. Cook for 5-6 minutes until browned and cooked through, stirring often.
  4. Transfer the sausage to a plate. Add the red onion, fennel, and a pinch of salt to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes or so until caramelized and tender. Meanwhile, drop the paccheri in the water and cook for 2 minutes less than the package’s instructions, stirring often.
  5. Stir the garlic and crushed red pepper into the vegetables. Cook for another 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine. Retrieve a ½ cup of starchy pasta water from the pasta pot and add it in with the wine. Let the liquid come to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it to the pot. Stir well to coat and continue to cook for a minute or so.
  6. Stir in the spinach, sausage, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Let heat through. Gradually stir in the pecorino cheese until it melts into the sauce. Lastly, fold in the basil and parsley.
  7. Taste the pasta and season with more salt if needed. Pour the pasta and all of the sauce into a large serving bowl. Garnish with the pistachios, more pecorino cheese, and any extra fresh herbs.

shop the dish: caramelized fennel paccheri with sausage & pistachios

Caramelized Fennel Paccheri

share your thoughts below...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.