Spaghetti is such a happy pasta – it’s long, delicious, smacks everyone on the chin and soaks up so much sauce. Pork and fennel are the best combination, and paired in this ragu with the spaghetti it’s a match made in heaven.
What you need
4 tablespoons olive oil
350g pork sausages (about 8 sausages)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
pinch chilli flakes
½ cup red wine
1 tin (410g) crushed tomatoes, sieved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Parmesan, to garnish
handful of flat leaf parsley, to garnish
What to do
Pour the oil into a large, non stick frying pan. Squeeze the meat out of the sausage skins, into bite-sized pieces, and drop into the hot oil. Use a fork to gently flatten them, then fry until crispy, brown and golden.
Reduce the heat, add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli, and sauté for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
Turn up the heat, pour in the wine, and cook for another few minutes. Then add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
Cook the pasta as per the packet (remember a good Italian cooks their pasta in water that tastes like the Mediterranean, so don’t forget the salt). Retain a cup of the pasta liquor, then drain.
Toss the pasta through the sauce with the reserved liquor, sprinkle over the parsley and Parmesan when ready to serve.
To serve: I’ll bring the wine if you invite me around for dinner, and let’s eat!
One Mother To Another is a registered charity that provides gift bags to mums and carers (including some dads/ grandparents/ foster parents) who find themselves going through a difficult time in hospital with a sick child. It was started by 2 Christchurch Mums – Christina and Joy, who have been through these wards and know how hard it can be. The wards they support are the Children’s Acute Assessment Unit (CAAU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU ward) at Christchurch Hospital, as well as the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Nelson and Southland hospitals. They currently provide a total of 170 gift bags a month to those four wards.
Their aim is to comfort and support mums (and carers) who are in hospital in what can be a very vulnerable and distressing time. They try to bridge the gap between 2 strangers and offer understanding and acknowledgement of their difficulty but mostly they want to put a smile on their face and let them know we care about what they are going through. They hope in some way brighten their day.