I know the idea of using swede in a pasta sauce is a bit out there, but trust me, it works. Rich and creamy and the perfect partner for lots of herbs and crispy sausage pieces, this cheap and often overlooked veg has a new party trick!
Roasting it first, along with the fennel provides an extra level of flavour. Don’t forget to reserve the starchy pasta water, as this is what transforms the sauce into something silky and delicious. You could absolutely sub in vegetarian sausages here too and if you’re not following a glute n-free or low-FODMAP diet, feel free to use fresh garlic, the white part of the onions and wheat pasta.
Ingredients½ a small swede, cut into small chunks
½ a fennel bulb, cut into wedges
5 tablespoons garlic infused oil or olive oil, divided
Sea salt and lots of black pepper
½-1 teaspoon sweet chilli flakes
4 spring onions, green tops only
3 sprigs of thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 gluten-free and low-FODMAP herby pork sausages
300g gluten-free pasta
1 gluten-free and low-FODMAP stock cube
1 tablespoon butter
Small bunch parsley, leaves picked
50g parmesan cheese
MethodHeat the oven to 200C, 180C fan. Add the swede and fennel to a medium roasting tin and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the chilli flakes. Toss to combine.
Place the tin in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are turning golden. Tear over the green spring onion tops and thyme sprigs and add 50 ml (a good splash) of boiling water. Place the tin back in the oven and roast for further 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and add the fennel seeds. Using a sharp knife, score a line down the middle of each sausage to remove their casings and squeeze the meat into the pan. Fry the sausage meat until golden brown and crisp, breaking it down with a wooden spoon as you go.
You have to juggle two steps a little at this point - while the sausage is cooking, get a large pan of boiling water ready. Crumble in the stock cube and then add your pasta. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than packet instructions, until just before al dente, then drain into a large or jug, reserving all of the pasta water. Place to one side.
When the swede and fennel are soft, remove the thyme sprigs from the tin. Spoon the vegetables into the saucepan the pasta was cooked in and add 3 mugs of the reserved pasta water. Using a stick blender, blitz the veg until smooth and creamy. Stir through the butter and check for seasoning.
Tip the pasta into the saucepan, adding more pasta water if needed. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls, sprinkle over the crispy sausage pieces and the parsley and shower each bowl with parmesan before serving.
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