Penne with Sausage & Fennel
2 Italian turkey sausages
2 T olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ t red pepper flakes
½ t kosher salt
1 medium bulb fennel, cleaned, halved and sliced thinly
2 T Pedroncelli Chardonnay
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 T lemon juice
½ lb whole wheat penne pasta
1 oz pecorino romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted *optional
In a large pan, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of cooking water.
In a small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Squeeze turkey sausage out in small pieces and brown on all sides until done, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan, keep heat on medium high and add fennel. Sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Just before the fennel is done, add wine and cover to steam the fennel. Remove lid, move fennel to outside of pan and add olive oil mixture. Sauté for 1 minute and then stir fennel together with mixture, cook 1 minute more. Off heat, add sausage, basil, lemon juice and pine nuts if using. Finally add pasta water and cooked pasta to the pan, stir to combine. Serve with pecorino romano cheese.