Pork & Fennel Sausage with Eggplant Pasta

Feeds 5-6

Prep 10 mins

Cooking Time 1.5 hours

Ingredients

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

Half a red chilli (more if you like it hot!)

1 eggplant

500g Italian pork & fennel sausages*

1.5 tins crushed tomatoes 600g

1.5 tins water

Olive oil

Salt and cracked pepper

4-5 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup baby bocconcini

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (or approx 80g)

500g rigatoni pasta

Chilli to serve (optional)

*Italian pork sausages can be used as a substitute and add 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds when sautéing the onion & garlic

Pork & Fennel Sausage with Eggplant Pasta

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree fan force.
  2. Chop the eggplant into small pieces and season with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes to release any bitter juice. Rinse and pat dry. Lay on a lined tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden. 
  4. Remove the sausages from their casing. Approximately 2cm pieces.
  5. Finely dice garlic and onion. Heat a large pot and add a good glug of olive oil. Sauté onion, chilli, and garlic for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Increase the heat to high and add the sausage meat. Cook until browned approx 5 to 7 minutes. Mix through the roasted eggplant.
  7. Add the tomatoes, water season well with salt & pepper.
  8. Bring the sauce to a boil lower the heat to medium and cook for 1 hour or until the sauce thickens.
  9. In the last 10 minutes of cooking stir through the basil leaves.
  10. Cook the rigatoni pasta until al dente. Strain and reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water.
  11. Turn the saucepan on low heat. Ladle the sauce into the cooked pasta. Add the bocconcini and grated Parmesan. Mix through until well combined.
  12. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and some fresh chilli.

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