Sausage, fennel & mascarpone cavatappi

Sausage, fennel & mascarpone cavatappi

A winning combination of flavours, the sweetness of the fennel works brilliantly with spicy sausage meat. 

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  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare10 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time30 mins

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  • 2 tsp Essential Olive Oil
  • 400g pack No.1 Free Range 6 Pork Sausages
  • 1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced, fronds reserved to serve
  • 300g cavatappi or another twisty pasta shape
  • 4 tbsp tbsp Madeira, plus an extra splash to finish (optional, see tips)
  • ½ x 250g tub Essential Italian Mascarpone
  • ¼ x 25g pack basil, leaves picked and torn
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes, to serve (optional)


  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sausages with skins on, then break up into small chunks with a wooden spoon. Fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned, cooked through with no pink meat and juices that run clear. Remove to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.

  2. Add the fennel to the pan and fry over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until a little coloured. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to pack instructions until al dente.

  3. Return the sausages to the pan, turn the heat up and pour in the Madeira, if using. Bubble for a couple of minutes until reduced completely. Stir in the mascarpone, then set aside. Once the pasta is ready, add 2 ladles cooking water (about 150ml) to the sauce, then drain the pasta and add it in.

  4. Stir, then sizzle over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has reduced and clings to the pasta. Add another splash of Madeira (if using), then season to taste. Scatter with the reserved fennel fronds, basil and chilli flakes, if using.

Cook’s tip

If you don’t have Madeira, try dry sherry or white wine, or add a squeeze of lemon instead before tossing the pasta and sauce. To further boost the fennel flavour, add ¼ tsp crushed fennel seeds to the pan, if you have some, at the same time as the fresh sliced fennel.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,205kJ/ 767kcals



Saturated Fat












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