Weeknight Dinner

Mezzi Rigatoni with Chipolata, Fennel and Chipotle; Topped with Garlicky Panko P…

Mezzi Rigatoni with Chipolata, Fennel and Chipotle; Topped with Garlicky Panko Pangritata ?

You’ll know by now that fennel-chipotle is one of my go to combos; it works amazingly well with the chipolata sausage meat in this, adding a smokey heat with sweet, mild aniseed notes. This is a simplified version of one of my favourite dishes – an all in one, make-the-sauce-in-your-lunch-break, no-fuss kinda thing ?

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)⁠
For the sauce:⁠
375g sausage meat (I used 97% pork chipolata sausages removed from their skins)⁠
2 red onions (sliced into half moon quarters)
1/2 punnet peppers (roughly quartered)⁠
2-3 mini peppers (roughly chopped)
1 garlic clove (grated)⁠
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp oregano
1tsp chipotle chilli flakes
Pinch of sea salt & black pepper (to taste⁠)
Small glass of red wine (125ml ish)
1 can nice chopped tomatoes⁠
1/2 can water (using the tomato can)⁠
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Note: reserve 1 small cup of pasta water to finish sauce⁠

For the crumb topping:
3tbsp breadcrumbs (I used a mix of panko and old sourdough)
1/2tsp garlic granules
1/2tsp oregano
Small drizzle olive oil to cook

– first brown the sausage meat for a couple mins (drain off any excess fat but leave a tiny bit to help cook the veg). Then chuck in the onions, mushrooms and peppers. Give it all 3-5mins to soften (mixing every so often) then grate in the garlic + all seasonings.

– after another min or so, add the red wine & let it boil off whilst scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze (you don’t want to smell alcohol – give it a couple mins).

– add the tinned tomatoes + water then nestle in the rosemary sprig. Cook it for a good hour uncovered on a low heat (less is fine, but longer = more flavour). Check every so often, add a splash of water if needed. Turn off the heat & pop a lid on. It’s ready to reheat whenever you cook your pasta – just add a little of the pasta cooking water to bring it all together at the end.

– to finish, put all the crumb ingredients into a frying pan & gently cook until golden (approx. 3-5mins). Stir & keep an eye on it; this will all of a sudden happen and you don’t want burnt crumbs! Top your cooked pasta dish.

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