Proper Blokes’ Sausage Fusilli

(recipe, Jamie Oliver)

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Despite its cheeky name, this dish will likely impress women as well as men. It works fine with penne pasta, too.


  1. 2 heaping teaspoons fennel seeds
  2. 2 dried red chiles, crumbled
  3. Olive oil
  4. 1 lb. 6 ounces coarse Italian or other high-quality sausage
  5. 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  6. 1 cup white wine
  7. Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  8. 1 lb. 2 ounces dried fusilli or penne pasta
  9. Sea salt
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. Two or three knobs of butter
  12. Handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  13. Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped


  1. Bash up fennel seeds and chiles in a pestle and mortar until coarsely crushed, then put to one side.
  2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Squeeze meat out of sausage skins and put in pan, breaking it up with the back of a spoon. Fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to color and the fat has rendered slightly, then crush once more so it resembles coarse mince.
  3. Add bashed-up fennel seeds and chiles and cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes until meat becomes crisp, golden-brown, and slightly caramelized.
  4. Stir in oregano, then pour in white wine and allow to reduce by half. Add lemon zest and juice. Turn heat down to low while pasta cooks in a large pan of salted boiling water.
  5. When the pasta has cooked al dente, drain in a colander (reserving some of the cooking water) and toss in the pan with the meat. Coat pasta in all the lovely flavors, then add butter, Parmesan, chopped parsley and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water. This will give you a lovely loose, shiny sauce.
  6. Taste and check for seasoning, then serve immediately with a little extra grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.