"Life is a combination of magic and pasta," said legendary Italian filmmaker Frederico Fellini. We couldn't agree more, but are they really separate things? Nothing up our sleeves here. Farfalle pasta gets tossed in a robust tomato sauce with pieces of fennel-flecked Italian sausage and fresh zucchini before it's topped with mozzarella cheese and baked to golden brown perfection. The delicious, filling flavors are no illusion, but this meal will still disappear before your very eyes.
Often a recipe that calls for Italian sausage will specify whether you should use links with fennel seed, or without, the writer looking to control that flavor in the dish. I will leave that choice, as it applies to this pasta, to you. Choose sausages with fennel seed and the licorice flavor from the fresh fennel bulb will be intensified; pick those without, and the flavor will be quieter. Either way, the fennel bulb itself will become sweeter in the cooking and more mellow.
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