Caramelized Fennel and Sausage Pasta


2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage with casings removed
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced, keep 1/4 cup chopped fronds for serving
1 lb orecchiette pasta
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Parmesan Cheese, grated


Heat up a large skillet on medium high heat an add 1 tbsp of oil. Add sausage and cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel covered plate and drain excess fat from the pan.

Add an additional 1 tbsp of  oil and the sliced fennel. Reduce heat to medium and cook. If fennel begins to burn, reduce heat and cook until soft and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pot full of water and salted slightly. Add pasta and cook to al dente instructions on package. Save 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain when done.

Add the cooked sausage, pasta, and pasta water  to the skillet and toss until sauce coats the pasta and water has evaporated.  Serve with Parmesan cheese and chopped fennel frond.

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