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This is one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes. Pork and fennel sausages bring big, bold flavours, while the creamy tomato sauce wraps itself around the al dente penne. This is a warming winter dish that you’ll keep coming back to time and time again.
1 red onion, finely diced
400 grams pork and fennel sausages, casings removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup red wine
2 cups tomato passata
½ cup cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for finishing
salt and pepper
400 grams dried penne pasta
fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
Sauce: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over a gentle heat and cook the onion for 6-7 minutes until soft and tender. Increase the heat and add the sausage meat, using a spoon to break it up. Cook for 8-10 minutes until nicely browned and crisp. Season to taste. Add the garlic, stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and let it bubble up, then deglaze the pan by scraping all the crispy bits off the bottom of the pan and stirring them through. Reduce the heat to low and add the passata, cream and Parmesan. Stir until combined and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (8-9 minutes).
Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and toss to combine. Tip onto a serving platter or divide into four individual portions and finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.