5 from 4 votes

Creamy Sausage and Fennel Pasta 

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This sausage and fennel pasta has a rich, creamy sauce, salty Italian sausage, and flavorful fennel for an uber-comforting recipe. Great for cosy meals.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£1.16
Makes: 5
mains
British
Freezable

This sausage and fennel pasta is the ultimate comfort meal! It’s made with deliciously salty Italian sausage, a creamy sauce made with pecorino and crème fraiche, and flavorful fennel seeds. This yummy sausage fennel pasta only takes about 20 minutes to create, so it’s great for busy weeknights or nights when you don’t feel like cooking but want a cosy meal.

Creamy pasta with sausage and bits on top in a bowl next to some sausage pieces, a small bowl of salt and a large pan with pasta.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Fast meal – This yummy sausage and fennel pasta takes less than 30 minutes to make, including prep time!
  • Comfort food – With the delightfully creamy sauce, flavourful sausage, and yummy seasoning, this fennel sausage pasta is a real treat.
  • Easy and flavorful—Using store-bought sausage, pecorino, and crème fraiche makes this recipe easy yet packed with flavour.

Here are some more tasty pasta dishes to try this week: Prawn and Chorizo Pasta, Easy Boursin Cheese Baked Pasta, or Creamy Philadelphia Chicken Pasta.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make the cream sausage pasta laid out on a pale blue background.

Sausages – I recommend using Italian sausage for this sausage and fennel recipe, including sweet Italian sausage, spicy Italian sausage, and mild Italian sausage. You can also use other types of sausage, including chorizo if you wish. Just be sure to cook the sausage first.

Pecorino – This cheese adds a decadent flavour to pasta recipes like this dish. However, you can also use mozzarella or grated parmesan cheese instead.

Broccoli – Steamed broccoli on the side of this fennel and sausage pasta adds extra nutrients to the dish. However, any veg, including peas, green beans, or cauliflower, will work.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

These adaptations will help you take your sausage and fennel pasta to the next level. If you follow a vegan diet, you can make a few swaps to the ingredients and enjoy a meat- or dairy-free option. Instead of crème fraiche, use dairy-free sour cream or heavy cream. Swap out the pecorino for a non-dairy cheese and use a meat-free sausage. Substitute chicken stock for veggie stock.

Add double cream or cream cheese if you want an even more decadent fennel sausage pasta recipe. For a hint of heat, add red pepper flakes. You can also swap the sausage for ground meat to make a meat sauce. Add some sauteed onions and tomatoes to create a creamy tomato sauce. Instead of rigatoni noodles, use other pasta for this pasta dish. Ziti and penne will also work well. You can also make this dish lower carb using zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles.

Pair this yummy sausage and fennel pasta with one of these protein-rich mains for an even tastier meal: The Best Garlic Prawns, Creamy Mustard Chicken, or Frozen Fish Fingers in Air Fryer.

How to make sausage and fennel pasta

  1. Start by adding half of the oil and the broken sausages into a large, non-stick frying pan. Fry over a high heat and leave for 3 minutes to brown (Image 1).
  2. Stir and continue to fry, maximising browning as much as possible. After 8 minutes, remove the sausage and set aside (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with broken up sausages frying in a pan and the second with pieces the sausage pieces browned in the pan.

3. Add the onion into the pan and reduce the heat to medium/low. Season with salt and pepper and fry for around 4 minutes (Image 3).

4. Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic and fennel seeds. Fry for 2 minutes over a low heat (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first withchopped onions frying in a pan and the second with the onions browned and with garlic and herbs added to the pan.

5. Then add your rigatoni to heavily salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes (Image 5).

6. Steam the broccoli over the pasta pan for 4 – 5 minutes (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with a saucepan of water with pasta and a wooden spoon and the second withbroccoli florets in a steamer.

7. Add the creme fraiche. Cook for a minute, then add two thirds of the sausage back into the pan (reserving some for the topping), half of the pecorino and the cornflour slurry (cornflour + water) into the pan and stir through. Season with pepper (Image 7).

8. Cook for a minute to bring up to temperature, then slowly pour the stock into the pan, whilst continuously stirring (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with broken up browned sausages in a creamy sauce in a pan and the second with the sauce mixed together with a wooden spoon.

9. Pour the drained, al dente pasta into the pan and stir through, reserving extra pasta water to use as necessary. Cook over a low heat until the sauce is coating the pasta nicely and is well incorporated (Image 9).

10. Serve with the steamed broccoli and top with the reserved browned sausage, a crack of black pepper and grated pecorino (Image 10).

2 step by step photos, the first with the cream sausage pasta in a pan with a wooden spoon and the second with the pasta served on a plae green plate with toppings.

Try some delicious soup recipes ; Tomato & Lentil Soup, Creamy Parsnip Soup or Carrot and Coriander Soup

Tips for the best result

Deglaze pan with red wine to add more flavor
If you want a more elegant sausage and fennel pasta dish, deglaze the pan with red wine. This will add a deliciously complex flavour to the recipe. You will only need about ¼ cup for this step. Be sure to deglaze the pan on medium high-heat.

Use the pasta water to help thicken your sauce
Save pasta water to the side (at least ½ cup) to help create an even more delicious pasta sauce for your fennel pasta. The starch in the pasta water helps create a thicker, richer consistency in the sauce.

Top each serving with grated parmesan
For an even more decadent version of this recipe, add freshly grated parmesan to the top of each portion of pasta. You can also use freshly grated mozzarella cheese. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top for an even cosier dish.

Use leftover sausage to create these yummy mains: Healthy Crustless Pizza Bowl, Easy Sausage Tray Bake with Vegetables, or Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers.

Creamy rigatoni cooked pasta with sausage and bits in a pan being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Leftover Storage and Reheat Instructions

Allow the sausage and fennel pasta to cool fully before putting it into an airtight container (or multiple containers for meals during the week). This dish will stay good in the fridge for up to three days. You can microwave the leftovers in a pinch. However, the sauce will likely separate a bit with this method. It’s best to reheat the leftovers on the stove with a tiny bit of heavy cream, chicken stock, or pasta water (if there’s any you saved). This will help the sauce become creamy and delicious again for the pork and fennel sausage pasta.

Can you freeze it?

I don’t recommend freezing recipes with dairy, as the sauce tends to separate. However, you can freeze leftovers if you really need to. They will last for up to three months in the freezer. Be sure to let the pasta fully cool before storing it in an airtight container in the freezer. To defrost, place the pasta in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat on the stove with the above notes.

FAQs

Can you use precooked sausage for this recipe?

You can use precooked sausage for this pork sausage and fennel pasta dish. However, I recommend using raw sausage, as it provides more flavour for the sauce.

Can you make this ahead?

I don’t recommend making this recipe ahead of time, since cooked pasta dries out quickly, and the longer a creamy sauce sits, the more it separates. If you want to prepare this sausage and fennel pasta beforehand, you can prep/chop the veggies the night before and store them in the fridge. Then, prepare the rest of the recipe fresh.

What if I don’t have fennel seeds

There are many easy substitutes for fennel seeds that will add a similar taste to the recipe. Try a fresh fennel bulb or sliced fennel fronds. Or, swap out fennel seeds with caraway seeds, anise, or liquorice root.

Do I have to de-case my sausages?

You can slice the sausage into pieces (with the casing) instead. However, I prefer to remove the casing so the sausages can get brown and crispy on the outside as they cook.

Creamy pasta with sausage and bits on top in a pale green bowl next to some sausage pieces in a bowl in partial view.

If you tried this Creamy Sausage and Fennel Pasta recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Sausage and Fennel Pasta

Print
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£1.16
mains
British
Freezable
Servings: 5
This sausage and fennel pasta has a rich, creamy sauce, salty Italian sausage, and flavorful fennel for an uber-comforting recipe. Great for cosy meals.

Ingredients

  • 8 sausages, de-cased and torn into small pieces (£1.50)
  • 1 onion, finely diced (£0.15)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (£0.39)
  • 500 g rigatoni (£0.75)
  • 200 ml creme fraiche (£0.89)
  • 50 g pecorino (£1.35)
  • 1 head of broccoli steamed to serve (£0.79)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour + 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Start by adding half of the oil and the broken sausages into a large, non-stick frying pan. Fry over a high heat and leave for 3 minutes to brown. Stir and continue to fry, maximising browning as much as possible.
  • After 8 minutes, remove the sausage and set aside. Add the onion into the pan and reduce the heat to medium/low. Season with salt and pepper and fry for around 4 minutes.
  • During this time, add your rigatoni to heavily salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes. Steam the broccoli over the pasta pan for 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic and fennel seeds. Fry for 2 minutes over a low heat. Then add the creme fraiche and cook for a minute, then add two thirds of the sausage back into the pan (reserving some for the topping), half of the pecorino, white wine vinegar and the cornflour slurry (cornflour + water) into the pan and stir through. Season with pepper. 
  • Cook for a minute to bring up to temperature, then slowly pour the stock into the pan, whilst continuously stirring. Then pour the drained, al dente pasta into the pan and stir through, reserving extra pasta water to use as necessary. Cook over a low heat until the sauce is coating the pasta nicely and is well incorporated.
  • Serve with steamed broccoli and top with the reserved browned sausage, a crack of black pepper and grated pecorino.

Notes

  • Add depth to dishes like sausage and fennel pasta by deglazing the pan with approximately ¼ cup of red wine on medium-high heat, for a deliciously complex flavour.
  • Add at least ½ cup of saved pasta water to create a richer and thicker sauce for your pasta, using the starch content to enhance consistency and flavour.
  • Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese over each serving of pasta, and drizzle with olive oil for an indulgent touch, enhancing the overall richness and texture of the dish.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 25g
Calories: 720kcal
Carbohydrates: 88g
Protein: 33g
5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Cassandra Queeley | 1 month ago

    Hi, I’m almost done making this dish and I’m confused as to when I’m supposed to incorporate the white wine vinegar.

    1. Mimi Harrison | 4 weeks ago

      Hey Cassandra- so sorry, I realise now that the white wine vinegar was missing from the method. I have amended it now. I hope you still enjoyed it!

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