Fennel Sausage has shot to the top of my list for two reasons: it is insanely delicious, and amazingly quick to prepare. Fennel seed, as the name would imply, is the predominant flavor in this dish — just as sage is for breakfast sausage. Colissimos sausage is the brand that I used, and it made for a delicious result.
Fennel may not be a familiar ingredient to some, but it is delicious and can be used in a variety of applications. The nearest place to find it is Davis Marketplace in LaVerkin. The fun thing about this dish is that you are experiencing three different parts of the plant at once; seeds, bulb, and fronds (the thin leafy parts). If you could find fennel pollen to garnish with, it could very well send the dish soaring into the realm of the sublime.
At some point, I will try making the sausage myself. Expect a report back pending successful results.
1 package of Italian Sausage
2 fennel bulbs
1 medium onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 red bell peppers
3-4 TBSP olive oil
1 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
Every ingredient is available at any local grocer. With everything gathered, you are ready to start cooking!
Start by adding olive oil to a dutch oven or tall sided pan with a lid that can be placed in the oven, over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the sausages to the pan and brown on both sides. While they are browning, prepare the other ingredients.
Prepare the fennel by removing the fronds from the small stalks in the middle of the bulb and set aside. Split the fennel root in half vertically, and slice. Thinly slice the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. After the sausages are browned, remove from the oil and add the onions, garlic, and your desired amount of chili flakes.
Sauté for five minutes then add the fennel and red bell peppers, cooking for another five minutes. Add the white wine, deglazing the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sausages back to the pot along with any juices they may have released. Put a lid on the pan and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
To serve, place the vegetables in the center of a plate, along with some of the cooking liquid. Garnish with fennel fronds and fresh basil.