The Last Supper: Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

Friday night went exactly as scheduled except we added my husband’s parents into the mix, which is probably a very good thing because this pasta dish is definitely meant for four people, not just two. My husband helmed the stove on this evening and put together a damn good dinner if I do say so myself, courtesy of our good friend Martha:

Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel:

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, plus fronds, for serving
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving
  • 2 1/2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about 3/4 cup), plus more for serving
  • Arugula, for serving (we skipped this and just had a side salad)


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and sausage; cook, breaking into pieces, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat; reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, fennel, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Add pasta, pasta water, lemon zest and juice, cheese, and sausage. Simmer, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand to thicken, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with oil. Serve with fennel fronds, lemon wedges, cheese, and arugula, if you’d like.

The Verdict:

(Oops, I’ve realized I’ve skipped this step on all my other posts.) Delish! The lemon made the pasta bright and zesty while the chicken broth flavor balanced it out. The fennel was an interesting taste and the fronds look beautiful on the dish, elevating this from a simple pasta dinner.

This is my last guest post as my lovely sister will be returning home from her honeymoon with plenty of stories (and meals!) to share. Until we meet – and eat – again!


3 thoughts on “The Last Supper: Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel”

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