Pasta with Sausage, Fennel and Beans and…A Crushed Toe

I’ve been away on the farm again.  We just decided to go for the last few days of the school holidays.  We again just took our ‘only child’ leaving the uni students to fend for themselves (much to their delight).

While at the farm, internet connection is only available through my mobile using Hot Spot.  But with Vodafone having a lot of dead areas, mobile reception wasn’t the best making the internet connection extremely troublesome.

Sausage Pasta

Sausage Pasta

But while I couldn’t be on-line I had time to read the paper.  In the paper was a Neil Perry recipe for an Italian sausage pasta.  I made this for my family the night we returned and everyone has asked me to make it again.  It’s very quick and easy to do and good on a cold winter’s night.  I’ve adapted the recipe slightly so there are a few less steps but nothing less when it comes to a wonderful pasta dish.

We’re now back from the farm and Alfie has had his first day back at school for Term III.  I hoped I’d be able to catch up on all my long-overdue cyber-stalking.  But earlier this morning my sister skyped saying, ‘Has mum called you?  Did you get my text?  Have you seen the photo?’  And I had no idea what the state of emergency was.

A great mid-week family meal

A great mid-week family meal

But after a delay my mother’s message came through and then an image came up on my phone and I thought I would show it to you.  Best to look away if you’re squeamish.  Because my sister had just returned from Rome and thought she’d head out to the garage in bare feet to retrieve something high up when something lower down crashed on her toe.

It was very heavy.

Ahhh, about that toe nail...

Ahhh, about that toe nail…

She went to the hospital because the toe is smashed (and because she was in a bit of pain).  She had to have a procedure but couldn’t have pain relief because she’s pregnant.  They repaired the toe then bandaged her foot and put it in a big boot and told her she’d have to be on crutches for the next six weeks.

Pasta with sausage, fennel and

Pasta with sausage, fennel and cannellini beans

We talked for about an hour then I realised I was further behind with my blogging.  Fear not!  I am catching up.  This pasta is a quick go-to recipe for those short on time.

Pasta with Sausage, Fennel and Beans

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  With fennel being in season, pulses being inexpensive and sausages moderately priced, this is an affordable family meal.

  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 3 Italian sausages, casing removed
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, finely sliced and fronds reserved
  • 2 medium brown onions, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1.4 ltrs chicken stock
  • 800g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 300g spiral pasta cooked until al dente
  • 30g shaved parmesan

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring frequently, until browned.  Add fennel bulb, onion, minced garlic and fennel seeds and saute until soft and fragrant.

Add chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.  Stir through beans, parsley and cooked pasta and heat until warmed through.  Season to taste.

Sprinkle with freshly shaved parmesan and garnish with reserved fennel fronds.

Sausage, fennel and

Sausage, fennel and cannellini bean pasta

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  1. Oh my god Charlie, I made this for dinner too – it was featured online on the Fairfax papers websites today and I had some apple and sage pork sausages that I thought would work well with the fennel (they did!). ! I cut down the stock by half though – I like my pasta sauce quite thick – but yours looks like it still worked beautifully with all the stock! And your poor sister. That photo made me wince. You do seem to have an accident prone family 🙂

    • I think that was a good idea to cut back on the stock. I found it to be too much and I had to simmer the sauce for longer than stated to make it less like a soup. But having said that, the beans do soak up a lot of liquid.

  2. Hope the toe mends well and she feels better soon.

    Delicious looking meal.

  3. Yum.

  4. Oh, my, that toe. Ouch.

    The pasta dish sounds delicious.

  5. I’ve totally been there. It sucks so bad but if someone were there to comfort me with this pasta, I don’t think it would’ve been that bad =)

  6. Yikes! That looks painful. I hope your sister heals quickly. The toe looks bad…but the pasta looks heavenly and perfect for cooler weather.

  7. I am so sorry for your sister.
    And hey,this recipe is exceptional, esp. for a non-Italian.(My mother was Italian).
    I hope your sister heals well and fast.

  8. Thanks for that wonderful image Charlie. The pasta dish looks so much better, Good old Neil,

  9. I uttered a loud “ouch” when I saw the photo. Hope your sister is not in much pain and the toe heals well.
    That is one good looking pasta dish, I do have a fennel in the fridge waiting to be used.

  10. Great looking pasta recipe. I love Italian sausages and all that fennel would make it even better. As to the toe, it must have been really painful. How do you do crutches when you’re pregnant? GG

  11. This looks like a delicious recipe Charlie, but I had to keep scrolling up and down carefully to avoid looking at your sister’s foot again. I hope she’s ok, that looked very nasty.. xx

  12. Looks like one of those fall-back-on recipes. That toe looks really nasty – I bet she was in heaps of pain, poor thing.

  13. Now of course when I read that there was a picture I scrolled straight down. Good thing I’d just finished my breakfast. The poor thing and my goodness to no painkillers! What a lovely warming dish!

  14. Oh the poor thing! Your pasta sounds great- I’m just grateful it wasn’t a red based sauce after that photo! X

  15. My goodness poor thing – what pain she must have been in! Bet your sister will be expecting some of these gorgeous meals while she is on crutches.

  16. That’s a wonderful looking pasta but an absolutely frightening looking toe! Of course I had a look at the picture and immediately regretted it. What fell on it?

  17. It’s amazing what things you can learn by not having access to the internet (i.e. the Neil Perry recipe). I’ve seen your blog comments many times and thought I would contact you- I was attracted to your engaging blog photograph! BTW, I recently made ‘hotly spiced’ Mexican tamales!

  18. Aaaaah, I scrolled down too far before reading your comment to look away!!! so gross. I’ve actually had that same thing happen to my toe. I hope she’s ok. Anyway, once the nausea went away after seeing that pic, I was able to appreciate how delicious this recipe looks 😉

  19. Ack!!! Oh my that toe! I actually gasped out loud. I can only imagine how badly that hurt. I would certainly need to console myself and this pasta would do the trick. I’m glad you had a chance to getaway again too. I hope that toe heals quickly!

  20. I was happily scrolling, enjoying your delicious pictures before BAM that toe hit… It is quite painful looking!
    I hope she is feeling better now!

    Choc Chip Uru

    P.S. To prepare for my exams now I won’t be commenting for around 4 weeks – See you in a month my friend 🙂

  21. Ouch with that toe, Charlie! TRUE!
    But beautiful pasta and love the flavor combination and WISH I could taste some of that now too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  22. Oh, dear.. I did have to look away, the poor thing, being pregnant she can’t even have a shot of whiskey! Love the look of your recipe.. anything my family asks about twice is a keeper:)

  23. OUCH! I nly caught a glimpse and that was more than enough.I hope it’s not as bothersome as it looks.
    This is a great dish, Charlie, and would make a great meal for a Winter’s day. I will definitely be giving it a try once our weather chills a bit. We’re in the middle of our first real heatwave of the Summer.

  24. Oh my goodness, Charlie. On crutches and pregnant? That doesn’t sound a bit good. Poor thing. I love the pasta dish, and the inclusion of fennel really interests me! This is a keeper! I think i could enjoy this even in our summer heat. 🙂

  25. Thank you, Charlie! Shopped my fridge early [hmm: 10 am after allnight TdF!!] this morning and I have this beautiful fennel bulb and now I know what to do with it [did not fancy a salad!]! My kind of winter recipe here [well, 22 C midday is actually not that shabby 🙂 !] and shall do!! Hmm, your Mom and me: big toes DO hurt – I managed my right index finger just a week back, looking about the same and refusing to stop bleeding some 20 minutes [guess why all the typos everywhere!!!]. Since I had had a mastectomy that side some 10 years ago and can’t even have my BP taken there] . . not that funny either and I DO hope your Mom’s is healing fast . . .

    • Make that sister, of course, and blame Eha for careless reading!! Most unfortunate for one or the other 🙂 !

  26. Okay, not quite what I was hoping to see at midnight while eating cherry pie, but oh well.

  27. That toe looks mighty sore lol…..

  28. Oh dear. I really should have looked away!! That is a horrible toe, and I hate to think of the procedure she suffered without pain relief. The birth should be easier in comparison perhaps!

    On the plus side…I love the idea of fennel in pasta.

  29. Holy Crap! Ouch! I actually have goose bumps and an awful expression on my face right now. I so should not have looked! x

  30. Okay, if you wanted my legs to turn to jelly, you succeeded! Oh gosh!!!

  31. Your poor sister! That toe looks awful. How pregnant is she? Hobbling around with a boot won’t be a lot of fun. You’ll have to make things and send them to cheer her up. 🙂

    I saw this pasta dish and thought it would be good but of course I haven’t made it yet. Looks very tasty.

  32. Ouchie! Oh dear, your poor sister – what a time to be on crutches.
    The pasta dish sounds fabulous even though I am not one for fennel but my mom would love this!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  33. Gosh, that looks so painful! Hope the toe mends soon. Anyway, lovely pasta dish – I had some Italian sausages with gnocchi last night. Love that sort of dish. Good stuff – thanks.

  34. Oh your poor sister – there is never a dull moment in your posts. Did the uni students manage to survive in the house together this time or not? I bet they were happy to have you home when you rustled this up for supper.

  35. Goodness me, that toe looks holy cats painful!!!! I hope she is feeling better:-) Your pasta dish sounds delicious, I love fennel added, such a great flavor addition! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  36. Yikes! Even prepared that toe made me cringe…then when I read “crushed” tomatoes I cringed again….but the dish looks delicious.

  37. Omg that toe looks terrible. I hope it is mending well. Glad you enjoyed the farm again and sometimes an I forced online break is very inspiring.

  38. “Mmm, food looks great, mmm, food sounds great”

    “Nope nope nope”

    Nothing like a smashed toe to put you off your dinner, hehe 😀 Hope it gets better soon!

  39. Sausage is the one thing that keeps me from being a vegetarian. Terrible toe photo! Ouch!

  40. Oh my God…..that must have hurt so bad. Shudder!!!!!!

    Anything fennel…yummmm!!!

  41. I love delicious pasta dishes for people on the go! That meal looks fantastic. Send your sister my love, I hope she feels better soon!

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