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Sausage and Fennel Pasta Bake recipe

Sausage and Fennel Pasta Bake recipe

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  • Pasta
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  • Sausage pasta bakes

A super-delicious pasta dish, which is packed full of wonderful flavours. Rigatoni is tossed with spicy sausages, fennel, roasted red pepper and topped with mozzarella and Parmesan.

93 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 450g spicy Italian sausages
  • 450g rigatoni pasta
  • 675g tomato based pasta sauce, such as Dolmio
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 120g grated mozzarella cheese
  • 80g grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr25min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Fry sausages in a large frying pan over medium heat, turning frequently until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the frying pan, cool slightly and slice into rounds. Add the garlic, fennel and onion to the frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, then add the roasted red pepper, basil, sliced sausage and pasta sauce. Heat through over low heat until warmed.
  3. Combine the pasta with the sauce and vegetables in a 20x30cm baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a few fennel leaves left from the bulb. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the foil, then grill for 5 minutes or until cheese is browned.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(89)

Reviews in English (70)

Really nice dish. I blitzed up the fennel and onion once cooked so that my kids would eat it! Very easy mid week family meal-03 Mar 2015

This is by far the most loved recipe I have made off my Ziplist app. My kids loved it!! I added more Italian seasonings, more garlic and more onion. It was delish!!-04 May 2014

used celery instead of fennel, but extremely nice-11 Jul 2015

Roast Sausage and Fennel with Orange

This sheet-pan sausage dinner is here for you when doing a pile of dishes isn’t on your to-do list. Roasting the sausages at a higher temperature helps them achieve the same golden brown color you’d get from searing them in a hot skillet. Thinly sliced shallots, leeks, or cabbage would all be great here too. And think of fennel fronds as a bonus that comes with the bulb use them anywhere you would another tender herb like parsley or dill.

What’s in This Baked Rigatoni Recipe?

This recipe uses DeLallo’s jarred pomodoro fresco marinara (you could choose one of their other flavors if you’d prefer), roasted red bell peppers, and obviously rigatoni noodles. DeLallo’s pasta is my favorite because its made with semolina pasta to create a toothy bite. The key to baked pasta is to undercook it when boiling it in the pasta water so it doesn’t get mushy as it bakes in the sauce.

Rigatoni is perfect for a chunky sausage sauce like this because the sausage sticks in all the nooks and crannies of the pasta. For this recipe, I used sweet Italian sausage and then gave it even a little more Italian oomph by cooking it with an extra dose of fennel seeds. The sauce gets a sweet bite with the addition of roasted red bell peppers.

Ah. Now that’s that way I like it.

Ricotta, Parmesan and provolone give this pasta it’s cheesy bite. Provolone gives an even better cheese pull than mozzarella and totally delivers in this recipe.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage links
  • 1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated Asiago cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Fry the sausages in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the skillet, cool slightly and slice into rounds. Add the garlic, fennel and onion to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, then add the roasted red peppers, basil, sliced sausage and pasta sauce. Heat through over low heat until warmed.

Combine the pasta with the sauce and vegetables in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread the mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses over the top. Garnish with a few fennel leaves left from the bulb. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the aluminum foil. Set the oven to broil, and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is browned.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 thick pork sausages, skin removed, meat crumbled
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml/10½fl oz vegetable stock
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  • 500ml/18fl oz milk
  • 400g/14oz penne pasta
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and gently cook the onion with a pinch of salt for 4-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Crumble in the sausagemeat and fry until coloured on all sides. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and turn down the heat. Gently simmer for 10 minutes while you make the white sauce.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir to mix. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has taken on a biscuit-coloured appearance. Slowly add the milk, bit by bit, whisking as you add to prevent any lumps from forming. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken slightly then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile cook the penne in a pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and pour into the pan with the sausage and tomato mixture. Mix well. Pour this into a medium-sized ovenproof baking dish. Pour over the white sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbling and golden.

Recipe Tips

In May 2013 this recipe was costed at £2.72 at Asda, £3.41 at Tesco and £3.12 Sainsbury’s.

Sardinian Pasta Shells with Sausage, Tomato & Fennel Sauce

I had the pleasure of making fresh Sardinian chiusoni pasta with the wonderful Erica and Alessandro from Agriturismo Stazzu Li Paladini in Olbia. Usually called malloreddus or gnocchetti sardi, they are small conch-shaped pasta shells that are ridged on one side so they can hold onto lots of sauce. If you can’t find any, then a small pasta like orecchiette or cavatelli works well. This is a typical Sardinian dish made with sausage, fennel and plenty of pecorino.

Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook


Heat the oil in a sauté pan or deep frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 4–6 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the garlic, fennel seeds and rosemary and cook until fragrant, then remove from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

Add the sausagemeat to the pan and fry until it begins to brown, using a wooden spoon to stir and break down the meat. Cook for 3–4 minutes until it begins to go a little crispy round the edges, then return the onion mixture to the pan. Add a splash of white wine and allow to bubble, then stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente.

Once cooked, add the pasta to the sauce and gently stir to coat. Season with a little pepper and serve in warmed pasta bowls, topped with grated pecorino and a few fennel fronds.


This was delicious. I followed the directions exactly except I used sweet sausage & added red pepper flakes. Creamy & delicious. very good. Will definitely make this again.

You really have to wonder why reviewers are incapable of following a recipe and have to modify it to turn it into a dogs dinner. Look at the photograph, it looks great not nasty, and if you travel to Italy you might appreciate the quality of the dish. Don't add any garlic and add some Pernod when cooking the fennel,use fresh not dried pasta, and if you have any taste buds you will be rewarded. Cooked this last night for 10 and everyone wanted the recipe, which is the sign of a great dish presented well.

Some of the best, creamiest pasta I've made. It also feels fresh because of the fennel, but don't get me wrong, it is an extremely heavy pasta. I've made it a couple times for the family and it is now one of our favorite winter pastas.

This was a terrific recipe! I added shaved leek to shaved fennel bulb, omitted the crushe fennel seed and used frozen peas instead of spinach. Halved the broth with white wine and used fresh 5 cheese tortellinis. I Will make again for sure!

A new family favorite! I made it once years ago, and it was delicious but I made a user error that resulted in a sauce that was too liquidy. I tried again recently, and this time it was perfect! Delicious and easy to make.

Delicious. Didn't have Italian sausage so sub with just cumberland sausage and add chilli powder to give a nice hot kick. Forgot parmesan cheese as well, and still very tasty without it. Thumbs up!

I have made this recipe several times and found it to be readily modifiable based on what I have on hand. The first time I made it I stuck to the recipe and found it good but bland. Each subsequent making has carried my own modifications, e.g., spinach rather than kale double the garlic (at least) no broth white wine instead of broth heavy cream rather than milk once I used book Chou as I had no fennel. The outcome is always delicious and it's a time saver, too. What's not to love?

We really enjoyed this! The flavor was great and it was easy to make

Oh, boy, did we enjoy this rich concoction! Spoiler alert: I made some changes to use ingredients I had on hand. Did not add fennel seeds and thought the fresh fennel gave enough flavor. Had only skim milk, so instead of making the creamy "sauce," I used most of a bottle of prepared Alfredo sauce. Had no pasta(!), so I used arborio rice and made a risotto of the dish, adding the parmesan before mixing in the sausage. Added spinach, let it wilt and served it up with a green salad. Probably took most of an hour (thanks to time it takes to cook the risotto), but well worth it. Looking forward to eating the leftovers. 4 forks for ease and yumminess.

My husband really liked this recipe - pasta and hot italian sausage are always a winning combination! I used equal parts heavy cream and chicken broth, and added a generous splash of white wine, which gave me a nice sauce. I found the fennel overwhelming and didn't care for it. The next time I make this recipe, I'll use half the recommended amount of fennel, or eliminate the fresh fennel and stick with the crushed fennel seed.

This recipe came together nicely and I found the cook/prep times to be accurate. A minor alteration was to use cheese filled tortellini with about 4 added teaspoons of Pesto. All but one person loved the outcome and asked when I will make it again. The lone dissenter said he had not tasted Fennel before so only learned then that the taste of it to him was displeasing. Overall, I am happy to give this recipe a 4 Forks Review.

This is excellent. I made the recipe as is with no additions or changes and we really loved it. I'm looking forward to making it again which will likely be soon as we just got another bunch of fennel from our CSA!

LOVE THIS RECIPE! Easy. Delicious. Children love this dish and always ask for more. Fresh fennel bulb, mushrooms, and baby spinach. I substitute half & half for heavy cream, add some cooking wine, and extra spinach.

This is a great easy unexpected company recipe. I use hot Italian sausage and make an Alfredo sauce as I, too, like my sauce to stick to my food. I have made this recipe many times for many different folks with rave reviews and recipe requests. I also add some dry white wine. This fun dish is great served with a spring greens salad and crusty bread.

I love this recipe. My daughter made it for me on my birthday. What a nice surprise I am making it again today.

I love this recipe. I made it twice already. If you want some color, by all means add some halved cherry tomatoes or some chopped red bell pepper. Delicious. Pork and fennel are an excellent combination.

This is a so indulgent and delicious. It doesn't look pretty, but it tastes amazing. It's one of those recipes that tastes even better on the second day. So, when I make it I double the recipe. Challah (egg bread) goes great with it on the side for soaking up the sauce. I've also served it with small potatoes on the side. Lots of carbs, but so tasty.

I thought this recipe was delicious! I added a little white wine to the sauce and thickened it a bit with Wondra. I like my sauce to stick to the food. It is a brown colored dish, but very flavorful. I was surprised that the fennel cooked down to the point that i didn't even notice it visually in the final dish. But it does add great flavor. Looking forward to making this again. Company worthy.

This is a go -to perfect recipe that is a crowd pleaser. I always use more mushrooms and spinach and less fennel. I love this recipe, and so will you.

I try to avoid recipes that use cream, but I made this because I had the ingredients on hand, and now I find myself yearning to have it again. Yummy, yummy, yummy.

This was very tasty, my husband and I both loved it. I will eat the leftovers and will make it again. At the last minute I discovered I was out of spinach but substituted peas and it was good that way. Take note - the fennel, mushrooms and sausage all in one pan would require a very large pan. I ended up cooking all the vegetables with cream and chicken stock in one pan, and browning the sausages in another pan.

This is an adequate weeknight meal as it takes very little prep time. However we didn't love it and it left a funny after taste in our mouth for some time. I recommend Tortellini with Porcini Mushroom Sauce served with a side salad (spinach would work) over this one.

I've made this four times now and felt the need to defend it from folks who said it looks nasty. I added a couple of my own photos because I don't think it looks bad at all. It's easy to make. This recipe is the only time I have used fennel at all and I don't cut it particularly thin. I cut off the green parts and only use the part on the bottom that looks like an onion. I don't use the fronds and last night I omitted the fennel seeds because I was out. It still turned out wonderfully. Its a great recipe.

This was somewhat tasty and smelled heavenly -- but it was nasty looking. Certainly all of the sense should be involved in a good meal.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian fennel sausage, casings removed
  • One 28-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound penne
  • 3 cups Creamy Ricotta
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato puree, water, sugar, bay leaf and fennel. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove the garlic, mash it to a paste and stir it back into the sauce discard the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked sausage to the pasta, then add 1 cup of the tomato sauce and toss to coat the penne.

Spoon the pasta into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the pasta and dollop large spoonfuls of the Creamy Ricotta on top. Gently fold some of the ricotta into the pasta don't overmix&mdashyou should have pockets of ricotta. Scatter the mozzarella on top and sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake the pasta for about 45 minutes, or until bubbling and golden on top. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

What you’ll need to Make Baked Ziti with Sausage

Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, a few words about the ingredients:

  • Ricotta cheese is a traditional addition to baked ziti, but I leave it out because it has a tendency to get dry and grainy when baked. I use heavy cream to add richness instead.
  • For the mozzarella cheese, I recommend using whole milk mozzarella it melts beautifully. You can purchase a plastic-wrapped brick of mozzarella (pictured above and sold in the dairy case) and shred it yourself. (To make it easier to work with, pop it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes prior to shredding.) Or, to save time time, use pre-shredded mozzarella just be sure it is whole milk rather than low fat. Avoid fresh buffalo mozzarella, which is best suited for salads.
  • Many grocers sell bulk Italian sausage (pictured above), which is simply ground sausage without the casings. If you can’t find it, you can ask your butcher to take the meat out of the casings or do it yourself.

Umbrian Sausage Bake

This dish is a perfect example of easy Italian comfort food. It is a quick to assemble recipe for busy families and has everything in one dish to complete the meal. In Umbria, pork is the meat of choice, and can be found in every shape and form from cured meats such as salami locale to tender roasted pork shanks, and in fact the region is recognized worldwide for its superior pork products.

This sausage bake simply entails combining fresh fennel, potatoes, onions, garlic, and red peppers, then tossing them with olive oil and seasonings. You then arrange these vegetables into a pan large enough to accommodate them with just a little room for them to spread out so they brown nicely, and place your sausages on top. As the sausages cook you pierce them with a fork to allow the pork juices to mingle with the vegetables, which really brings the flavors together. I often change the ingredients around depending on what I have on hand or what I am craving at the time, and I may or may not include the potatoes.

If you like things spicy as I do, you can use spicy Italian sausages as well as adding a chopped hot pepper or two into the mix, but you could certainly use mild sausages and skip the addition of the chopped hot pepper if you prefer. You can also vary this dish by adding some chopped cherry tomatoes, or try other vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini or eggplant, but they all need to require the same cooking time for this dish to work.

Watch the video: Ζυμαρικά με λουκάνικο. Alexandros Papandreou (September 2021).