Sausage & Fennel Ragout is one of my favorite dishes. It’s got tons of flavor and is the perfect comfort food. Served over a bowl of hearty grains and topped with parmesan cheese.
I think this is the first dish that I made Rick when we started dating – and now we’re engaged! Truth be told, I think that this recipe for Sausage & Fennel Ragout sealed the deal right off the bat. What’s not to love? Flavor-packed sausage, creamy fennel, and a bit of sauciness made up of chicken stock and white wine…
This is also the first dish that got me to love fennel – And now I’m hooked. In it’s raw state, it’s got a refreshing bite to it with a hint of licorice flavor. But cooked, it takes on a whole new characteristic – It becomes really creamy and the flavor mellows out.
I love to eat crisp, raw fennel in salads – Here are some of my favorites:
- Fennel & Chickpea Salad
- Seared Scallops with Fennel & Blood Orange
- Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Fennel & Radishes
And, some of my favorite recipes that cook the fennel:
But for now, let me bring you back to the dish that started it all – Sausage & Fennel Ragout. The first time I tried this dish was fresh out of college, at one of the weekly Wednesday Night Dinners that I had with girlfriends. Each week, we would take turns at each other’s houses. The host would cook, and the rest of us would bring the wine. And, from what I can recall, this dish is adapted from Rachael Ray. But, of course, I’ve tweaked it over the past
15 five years to make it my own.
Originally, this Sausage & Fennel Ragout was served on top of a creamy, cheesy polenta, which in all honesty is absolutely amazing. But, every time I made it, the hot polenta would sputter and spit, burning my wrists and making an absolute mess of the kitchen. So now I take the simple road, serving it on a bed of quinoa (I like to make it in the Instant Pot).
You’ll have this dinner on the table in under 30 minutes with almost no effort at all. The hardest part of your evening will be deciding which wine to open, but, as always, I’ve got some suggestions on that below!
Sausage & Fennel Ragout
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage use mild if you prefer less spicy
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1 large fennel bulb cut in half lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups bone broth or chicken broth
- 3/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for garnish
- Quinoa for serving, cooked
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, until browned, 4-5 minutes.
- Add in the red onion, fennel, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes or until the vegetables wilt and the onions become translucent.
- Add in the chicken broth and white wine (or vermouth) to the skillet; increase heat to high and bring up to a simmer.
- Cook about 4-5 minutes, to reduce liquids by half; stir in the chopped parsley.
Serve ragout on top of ancient grain medley; garnish with more Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Wine Pairings for Sausage & Fennel Ragout:
- Try pairing this dish with a sparkling wine like Cava or Prosecco. Here are some great budget-friendly options.
- For a red, try a big, bold Syrah.