Sausage, n’duja and fennel ragu


Preparation time
30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

By Mateo Zielonka
From Saturday Kitchen


  • 400g/14oz classic egg dough recipe or dried pasta of your choice
  • coarse semolina, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small head fennel, finely chopped
  • ½ head celery, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g/1lb 2oz good-quality pork sausages, skins removed
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 200ml/7fl oz white wine
  • 200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
  • 100g/3½oz n’duja
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • ½ bunch sage leaves, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • Parmesan, grated


  1. To make the farfalle (if using fresh pasta), dust a baking tray with coarse semolina, ready to lay out your finished pasta.

  2. Start with a quarter of the dough with the pasta machine at its widest setting, pass the dough through the rollers. Do not fold but repeat this process, decreasing the roller setting down grade by grade with each pass. Take the pasta down to the penultimate setting. Cut across the pasta sheet using a ravioli cutter and spacing the cuts around 5cm/2in apart. Next, use a sharp kitchen knife to cut lengthways at the same spacing to create squares. The squares will have the classic zig-zag edges on two opposite sides and be straight-edged on the other two sides.

  3. Now place a square on the work surface with the zig-zags to each side and the straight edges top and bottom in front of you. Place a skewer horizontally across the square, then use a finger and thumb to pinch the dough across the top of the skewer so it meets in the middle. The dough will stick to form the classic butterfly shape; you can then carefully remove the skewer by simply sliding it out.

  4. Place your shaped pasta on the dusted tray and continue with the rest of the squares until you have a nice mound of farfalle. Keep the pasta covered with a tea towel as you go.

  5. To make the ragu, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, fennel and celery for 20 minutes, until soft and sweet, then add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.

  6. Fry the sausagemeat in a frying pan on a high heat for 2–3 minutes, turning it to brown on both sides. You don’t want to cook it all the way through.

  7. Transfer the sausagemeat to the pan with the vegetables, then add the spices, bay leaves, white wine and chicken stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour.

  8. Skim off any excess fat, then add the n’duja. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

  9. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the farfalle for 2 minutes. If using dried pasta, cook according to packet instructions.

  10. Meanwhile, add the mascarpone to the ragu and stir it in. When the pasta is cooked, transfer it to the sauce together with half a ladle of pasta cooking water, scatter over the sage and stir everything together. Taste to check the seasoning again.

  11. Serve immediately, with grated Parmesan on top.

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