Mar 25, 2013

Penne with Fennel, Corn, Spicy Sausage, and Ricotta Cheese

Once a while besides the regular pomodoro, alfredo, and pesto sauce for pasta, I'd like to play with other ingredients and see what I can come up with. This time, penne with fennel, corn, spicy sausage, and ricotta cheese -

Ingredients (4 to 5 portion)?

  • 1 pack/500 grams/17.6 oz of penne
  • 1 pack/450 grams/16 oz of spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 box/425 grams/15 oz of ricotta cheese
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1 ladle of pasta water
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • Small pinch of dried mixed Italian seasoning


Bring a big pot of water to a boil and pour in about a small handful of salt. Pour in the pasta and give it a quick stir. Cook till al dente in texture, about 11 minutes. Remember to stir it once a while making sure the pasta are not sticking to each other. Once done, remove the penne from the water and set aside for later use. Make sure not to discard the pasta water or try to save a few ladles before pouring it down the sink.

Drizzle enough olive oil to evenly coat the surface in a big pan. Add in diced fennel bulb along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes. Turn to medium high heat and cook for couple minutes.

Add in smoked paprika and mix it up a bit. Transfer the spicy sausage into the pan. If you can't find sausage meat without the casing, just slice them about 2 mm in thickness instead. Cook for about two minutes then sprinkle some dried Italian seasoning into the mixture.

Add in the corn (drained) along with some freshly chopped dill and ricotta cheese. Let everything cook for a little bit longer. Gently pour the cooked pasta into the mixture and add one or two ladles of pasta water to dilute the sauce. Mix well and garnish the plate with some fresh dill.

Mascarpone was actually my first choice instead of ricotta but somehow couldn't find it at the grocery store. Give mascarpone a try if possible, which should yield an even more luscious and creamy sauce for this recipe.

Similar posts:
Spaghetti saffron style with prawns, smoked bacon, and asparagus
Thai style stir fry ground pork with spaghetti and lots of pecorino romano
Very bacony and garlicky spaghetti


  1. To Amateur Cook~
    Thank you so much, that means a lot to me!

  2. Good that you like to play with different sauces. For me, it is usually tomato-based sauces and pesto. Boring...:)

  3. To Tigerfish~
    Noooo tomato sauce is still my favorite till this day! It's not boring at all haha.