MEJ Masthead

Pork & Fennel Sausage Orecchiette

Amanda Whitley

When I was pregnant with Olivia my craving was for sausages. I didn’t care how they came – on bread, with mash, as a ragu, in pasta…I just needed SAUSAGE!

When I’d passed the 40-week mark and was sitting at home, huge and bored out of my mind, (this was before I’d realised I would never have several weeks by myself doing nothing ever again), I looked in the River Café cookbook to find two sausage pasta recipes – one would take 40 minutes, the other two hours. It says something about just how stir crazy I was that I chose to make the latter.

This isn’t that recipe… it’s reminiscent of it, but even quicker than the “fast” version. I cooked it last night and it was perfect for a chilly Canberra evening!

what you need

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried chilli
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
500g pork and fennel sausages
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
400g can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped
500g orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup cream
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leafed parsley
best extra virgin olive oil to serve
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to serve

what to do

1. Warm the oil to a moderate heat in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Gently sauté garlic, chilli and rosemary until fragrant but not browned.
2. Remove the skins from the sausages, crumble the meat then add to the pan and fry until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juice and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted water until al dente (use the cooking times on the packet as a guide). Drain the pasta, setting aside a little of the cooking liquid (about 3 tablespoons), and reserve.
5. Stir the lemon juice in to the sausage mixture, then stir in the cream and chopped parsley. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
6. Toss together the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid and the sausage sauce.
7. Serve on heated plates with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and top with mountains of finely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano.

 Buon Appetito!


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

  • Erin

    Great recipe Amanda! Where do you get good pork and fennel sausages in Canberra?

    • Amanda Whitley

      I got some from Kingston IGA – they’re pre-packaged ones from “Nonna’s”, from memory…

  • Sally

    Sounds so delicious and I am keen to try this! Can you please tell me where you find orecchiette pasta in Canberra? Thank you!

    • Amanda Whitley

      Hi Sally

      You can get dried orecchiette from most supermarkets – I get mine from Griffith or Kingston. What side of town are you?


  • Sally

    Thanks Amanda, I’m south side. I’m heading to Chifley this evening so I’ll check the shops there. No chance of getting it from my usual haunts: Coles Curtin or from Aussie Farmers direct. I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve tried the dish. Cheers, Sally