This is a great throw-together dish for a cold winter’s evening. The rich sausage, tomato and fennel sauce is covered in creme fraiche tossed spaghetti and then topped with mozzarella and cheddar. Warm, comforting and just a little bit naughty!
6 large, (If you’re hungry make it 8) good quality sausages
2tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
1 bulb of fennel – thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
690g jar passata
1tsp fennel seeds
Grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
3 heaped tablespoons crèmefraiche
Large handful basil leaves, torn
100g cheddar, grated
25g grated fresh parmesan
1. Heat the oven to 190C. Cut the skins off the sausages and break the meat up into little pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then fry the sausage meat until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it’s like mince.
2. Remove the sausage meat with a slotted spoon from the pan and set aside. Add the carrots, celery and fennel to the pan and fry for 10 mins until they are beginning to soften, then add the garlic and cook for 2 mins.
3. Add the passata, fennel seeds and lemon zest, then return the sausage meat to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 15 mins.
4. Cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling, salted water for 12 mins or according to packet instructions. Drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the cooking water. Tip the spaghetti into a bowl with the reserved water, crème fraiche and basil. Season with salt and pepper and mix together well.
5. Tip the sausage mixture into a large oven proof dish with high sides, then top with the spaghetti. Don’t mix the sausage mixture and spaghetti together as the spaghetti is acting like a pie lid.
6. Break the mozzarella into small pieces and dot over the top of the spaghetti. Sprinkle over the cheddar and parmesan, then bake in the oven for 15-20 mins, until golden brown and crispy on top.