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Spicy Sausage Tagliatelle_MidPage@2x

Spicy Sausage Tagliatelle

This spicy sausage tagliatelle is made with a touch of white balsamic vinegar, fennel pollen, a sprinkle of sugar, and plenty of crushed red pepper.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 683kcal


  • Baking sheet
  • Food processor
  • Wide pot
  • Large pot
  • Sieve or colander


  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil divided
  • 2 red bell peppers trimmed, deseeded, and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage loose
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and minced
  • 1–2 teaspoons crushed red pepper more or less depending on preference
  • ½ teaspoon fennel pollen optional
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • 28- ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 16 ounces tagliatelle, pappardelle, or rigatoni
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced parsley optional, for serving


Roast the red bell peppers:

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  • Arrange the peppers, skin-side down, on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and transfer to the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the skins are charred and blistered.
  • If desired, remove the skins from the peppers and transfer them to a food processor with the garlic cloves. Pulse until blended and set aside.

Brown the sausage:

  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon for 15 minutes until completely cooked through.

Cook the aromatics:

  • Melt the butter into the sausage. Add the onion and cook an additional 5–7 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and fennel pollen and cook for 1 minute.

Deglaze the pot:

  • Add the balsamic vinegar and beef stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Stir to loosen up any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pot.

Simmer the sauce:

  • Add the tomatoes, puréed bell peppers, and sugar—season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon as they cook.

Cook the pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Scoop out 1/3 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

Sauce the pasta:

  • Add the pasta water to the spicy sausage ragu. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Turn off the heat.

To serve:

  • Divide the cooked pasta between shallow bowls. Garnish with minced parsley if you like. Enjoy!


Calories: 683kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 36g | Sodium: 815mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 67mg
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