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Lepp’s Italian Sausage and Fennel Pasta


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3 tbsp olive oil

500g Lepp mild Italian sausage, casings removed

1 medium onion, diced very small

46 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp fennel seed

1 tsp salt

A few grinds of black pepper

1156ml can tomato paste

1796ml can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of full-bodied red wine

1 tsp Major brand vegetable base

2 tbsp white sugar

½ (one half) tsp sambal oelek, optional**

400g penne pasta or other favourite pasta shape

1 cup whipping cream

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for garnish


Add the olive oil, sausage, onion, garlic, fennel seed, salt and pepper to a large heavy bottomed pan. Turn the heat on to medium-high and cook, while breaking up the sausage, until the sausage is fully cooked and in small pieces, approximately 8 to 12 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, wine, vegetable base, sugar, and sambal oelek. Bring to a boil and reduce over medium heat until the sauce becomes very thick, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Cook your pasta in boiling, liberally salted water to desired consistency (approximately 13 to 15 minutes for penne) during this step.

Once the sauce has reduced, stir in the whipping cream and then the cooked and drained pasta. Serve immediately garnished with parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Makes approximately 6 portions


‘Sambal oelek’ is a crushed chilli product that comes in liquid/paste form – it is optional in this recipe but I find that it really adds some complexity to the sauce, and with only one half teaspoon the sauce is not spicy. If you want a spicy sauce, then add more sambal oelek or use Lepp’s hot Italian sausage instead of the mild.