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  • Writer's pictureAvni R.

Creamy Fennel Pasta w/ Sausage & Kale

I first had a dish similar to this in Scottsdale at a lovely Italian restaurant, EVO. My girls and I had gone there for my bachelorette weekend and had our last dinner of the trip there. The memories of that trip had just recently resurfaced on social media and I was reminded of this pasta so here we are! It was actually my first time cooking with fennel bulb and it definitely won’t be my last! It looks a lot like an onion once you slice it but tastes a bit like licorice. I absolutely love the flavor of fennel in my Italian food! Anyone else?

This pasta hits all the right flavor notes but is definitely fennel forward. It has a touch spicy which pairs lovely with the rich and creamy sauce. It definitely turned out better than I imagined it! You can make this recipe vegetarian with meatless sausage as well. Can’t wait for y’all to try it!


Creamy Fennel Pasta w/ Sausage & Kale


  • 1 lb. fusilli or other short pasta of choice

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 lb. spicy Italian chicken sausage, ground - not links (pork or vegan sausage works too!)

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed, ground

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 bunch curly kale, chopped & stems removed

  • 16 oz. half & half

  • Pecorino cheese, for garnish


1. Boil pasta according to package instructions. Drain, toss it in a drizzle of olive oil and set aside.

2. Pour EVOO in a heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Remove sausage from casing. When oil is hot, add in sausage and mix vigorously to break up into chunks.

3. Once the meat is cooked and slightly browned, add in sliced fennel bulb and sauté for 5-7 minutes until fennel has caramelized.

4. After fennel has softened, add in garlic and the rest of the spices. Mix well and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until raw garlic smell is gone. Add in tomato paste and stir to incorporate.

5. Now add in the chopped kale, sauté until it wilts down then pour in half & half. Deglaze pan and stir well. It’s ok if it seems too watery, it will thicken once pasta is tossed in. Reduce heat to low.

6. Finally add in the pasta and toss well to coat in the sauce along with the meat and kale. Serve hot with a grating of pecorino cheese!

**If pasta absorbs sauce and becomes dry, add a splash milk or even water to make saucy again.


Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see your recreation! Please tag me @thecurriedcook or #thecurriedcook so I can see!

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