February 4, 2011
Whole Wheat Pasta with Fennel, Chicken Sausage, Tomato and Olives
Obviously, this pasta dish appealed to me because of the fennel. I will print just about any recipe that I come across that has fennel in the title.
I found this one on a blog called The Perfect Pantry, which happens to be written by a Rhode Islander, so of course I was immediately enamored.
The dish turned out ok. I liked that the tomato juice and the pasta water created a sauce, so it certainly was not dry. I didn't think the olives were necessary, and would probably replace them with a leafy green, such as swiss chard, escarole or spinach in the future. I also discovered that I am not a huge fan of chicken sausage. (Unless we are talking about this lovely specimen right here: Al Fresco wild blueberry breakfast sausage with maple syrup. OMG, I could eat the whole package in one sitting.) Since chicken doesn't have much inherent flavor, I feel like all you taste is the seasoning the manufacturer (in this instance, Harris Teeter) adds to the meat. I would much prefer pork or turkey sausage for the flavor.
The other problem I encountered with this dish was that I didn't cut the fennel thinly enough, so some of it did not cook as well other pieces. That usually does not present a problem the first night, but for some reason, I find that after it has been refrigerated and then reheated, the fennel that isn't cooked all the way through becomes hard as rock. (Ok, maybe not that hard, but definitely harder than anything you would like to find in your lunch-time pasta.)
So with a couple changes, I think this could be a great weeknight go-to meal!