- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 leeks, white part only – thinly sliced
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage – casing removed and crumbled
- 1 lb. fusilli pasta
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- handful of fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks, fennel, and salt ant pepper to taste. Saute until vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, cover and cook until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy frying pan over high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook until well browned and season with salt and pepper. Pour off most of the fat leaving just a bit for flavor.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- Add sausage to pot with fennel and simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. (You should have some liquid left in the pot to form a sauce. If not, add a bit of warm water or chicken stock.) Taste – adjust seasoning and add a drizzle of olive oil.
- Drain the pasta and put into a large shallow bowl. Add another drizzle of olive oil, the basil and parsley and about 3 tablespoons of cheese. Toss. Add the fennel mixture and toss again.
- Serve immediately . Pass the remainder of the cheese in a dish at the table.