I had never cooked with fennel before and had always wanted to. I discovered a super simple recipe and decided to try it. I thoroughly enjoyed the fennel and was surprised by how mellow the flavor was (I had heard it's very strong). Although, I did get some advice that the stems are way stronger than the bulb and I therefore only used the bulb. Next time I'll go further and pair this with some sort of fennel salad - I want to try a grapefruit and fennel salad with a citrus vinaigrette.
1 fennel bulb (bulb only)
1/2 lb Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
1 15 oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes
Any short cut pasta (try orechetti)
1 tsp dried basil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the whole tomatoes from the can and get as much sauce off as possible. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil, basil and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Place in over for about 15 minutes or until just before they burn.
Using your food processor or a mandolin, finely slice the fennel bulb. If you have neither of these tools, chopping them into fine slices w a knife will be fine.
In a medium skillet, brown the turkey sausage with some olive oil. Once browned, add the fennel and some more olive oil and continue cooking just for about 3 minutes (you want the fennel to retain some "bite").
Pour the fennel/sausage mixture over the pasta and add the tomatoes. Toss and serve with romano cheese!