Grilled Sausage and Fennel Pizza

Grilled Sausage and Fennel Pizza

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  • One 8-ounce ball of pizza dough
  • 1 Tablespoon semolina flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 6 Ounces cooked, bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 Ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmsean cheese
  • 1/4 Teaspoon fennel pollen (optional)


Preheat the grill to high.

Dust your counter with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Stretch the dough by rotating it on your knuckles into a 12- to 13-inch diameter round. Sprinkle the semolina on a wooden pizza paddle or on the back of a baking pan large enough to hold the dough round. Set the dough on the semolina and brush the top of the dough with the olive oil.

Slide the pizza onto the hot grill and cook until grill marks appear and the dough is set, about 2 minutes. Brush the uncooked side of dough with olive oil and carefully flip the dough over.

To build the pizza, spread the tomato sauce over the partially cooked crust, then distribute the onion and fennel over the sauce. Add the Italian sausage in chunks, then drop the ricotta in 6 to 8 large spoonfuls around the pizza. Next, sprinkle the pizza with the Parmesan cheese. Let the pizza continue to cook on the grill until the underside is nicely charred and cooked through and the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. When it's done, remove the pizza from the heat and set it on a cutting board. Sprinkle the pizza with the fennel pollen, cut it into 6 to 8 wedges, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving252

Folate equivalent (total)125µg31%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg13.1%

Fennel and Sausage Pizza Recipe

Also, greetings from Italy!! Late last week, I arrived in Italy for a press trip along with a little pre travel. The days before the press trip were spent exploring the gorgeous lake regions of Italy including Stresa, Lake Como and Verona. On Tuesday of this week, I started a press trip to learn all about balsamic vinegar in Modena. I’m not going to get into that now, because I’ll have a full blog post with all the details coming in the next couple of weeks. If you want to check in on my live adventures, come say hello on Instagram (I’ve been posting a bunch of stories)!

Now, on to this Fennel and Sausage Pizza. I saw this recipe in a recent edition of Bon Appétit, and I was immediately compelled to make it. Fennel seed is an ingredient in Italian sausage, so the pairing of fresh fennel and Italian sausage is just perfect. The original recipe is prepared in a cast iron skillet, but I adapted it to fit my style, using a pizza pan instead.

You start with mild Italian sausage—sans casing—browning in a skillet. Then you layer toppings on a round of pizza dough as follows: shredded mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, sliced fresh fennel, cooked sausage and thinly sliced garlic. Slide the pizza in a screaming hot oven and let cook until golden and bubbly. Once the pizza comes out of the oven, it gets a final sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes and torn basil leaves. The finished pizza is spicy and savory with moments of fresh anise from the fennel and basil. And the garlic is a game-changer. Continue reading for the recipe.

The ingredients are pretty straight-forward here. Just make sure you use mild Italian sausage, since you add crushed red pepper flakes at the end. If you get the spicy sausage, just omit the chiles at the end. Also, I like to mention from time to time that I get my pizza dough from a local pizzeria. I find it always comes out better than my homemade dough, and it only costs $2! Such a time saver. I’d recommend you check around with your local pizzerias to see if they sell their dough.

Share All sharing options for: Fennel Sausage & Panna Pizza at LA's Pizzeria Mozza

At chef Nancy Silverton's acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant Pizzeria Mozza the craft of pizza making has been "without a doubt" reimagined from a bread baker's perspective, says executive chef Matt Molina . Pizzeria Mozza's unique dough recipe and cooking process ensures that a well-structured crust is a star component.

Of course, Silverton, Molina, and their team devote the same concern to what goes on top of that crust. Take, for example, the extremely popular Fennel Sausage and Panna pizza . Inspired by a sausage and panna (cream) pizza the two chefs shared in Umbria, Molina and Silverton created a recipe that celebrates fennel flavors and creamy textures that is entirely their own. Adding scallion, red onion, and of course, a uniquely flavorful crust, Pizzeria's Mozza's beloved pie has become a reflection of the pizzeria itself: "It's true to what we do. We take things that are very soulful to us and refine them."

With top notch pies (and not too mention an absolutely essential Butterscotch Budino) Pizzeria Mozza has earned a spot on the Eater Pizza 38 and Eater LA recently declared its slices as among the best in the city. Eater LA associate editor Matthew Kang says why:

"Mozza changed the pizza game in LA. Before then, people thought gourmet pizza was something made by Wolfgang Puck or even California Pizza Kitchen. The wood-fired, bready crust with top notch ingredients was something of a revelation. And for the first few years, the diminutive space had reservations going out to a month, proving that anything Silverton touched in LA turns to gold."

Below, the elements of Pizzeria Mozza's Fennel Sausage and Panna pizza:

1. The Dough

Because they don't have room to make it, Pizzeria Mozza has Silverton's La Brea Bakery prep the pizza dough and deliver it to the restaurant daily. (Pizzeria Mozza in Singapore and San Diego both make their dough in house). The dough is made using a sponge starter, which is a yeast pre-ferment. This allows the pizza dough to have a stronger flavor almost like a sourdough and is, as Molina puts it, "a bread baker's approach to making a pizza." Then the rest of the dough ingredients are added: rye flour, barley malt, salt, bread flour, water, and salt. The entire dough-making process takes about 10 - 12 hours, and the dough rests overnight before being delivered to Pizzeria Mozza.

Once delivered to the restaurant, the dough must be handled extremely gently Molina says. "At this point, the dough is a living thing and it has a personality," he says, "the dough and I have been married for seven years. I know how to treat it." Molina tries to disrupt the dough as little as possible as he shapes it into round, wheel-like shape. Using his fingertips to "pat down" the middle, he creates a one-inch rim around the edge which will become the crust. Once it is uniform, Molina pats the dough down with his hand to create a flat surface upon which to build the pizza. At that point, the dough is then ready to be stretched and placed on the pizza peel.

2. The Sausage

Molina and his team make the fennel sausage for the pizza in house. Molina uses Heritage Farms pork, which he likes for its consistency, strong porkey taste, and its firm fat. In the sausage, the ration is 25% fat. To amp up the fennel flavor, Molina adds fennel seeds and pollen. He also adds mild smoked paprika to give the sausage a bit of spice.

One of the so-called "secrets" of the sausage is that it is not cased. Instead, Molina shapes the mixture into a meatball-like structure and par-cooks them to medium rare on a sheet pan. Par-cooking allows the sausage to release a lot of that fat, which otherwise would end up as grease on the pizza. After they cook, the sausages cool down before Molina "breaks them up" and adds them to the pizza.

3. The Cream

The trick to adding cream to a pizza is figuring out how to make sure it has enough body not to run. After creme fraiche and mascarpone both failed to deliver the flavor and consistency they were looking for (creme fraiche was too runny, the mascarpone too dense), Silverton and Molina discovered that all they needed was basic heavy whipping cream. Molina whips the cream to soft peaks, adding just enough air for the cream to "stay put and not tarnish the dough."

In addition to cream, Molina also adds low moisture mozzarella. The cheese adds a desired tanginess to the pie, but Molina says it also serves a more practical purpose. When the cheese melts, it cools down the cream, which breaks in the heat of the oven. The cheese helps emulsify the cream and it also browns nicely in the oven. Molina cuts the cheese into cubes rather than grating it because he does not want it to melt into a uniform topping. Each bite, he says, should be slightly different.

4. The Toppings

The pizza is topped with sliced red onion and scallion. After they're sliced, Molina mixes the raw onion and scallion together and then sprinkles them on top of the pizza. Molina cuts both the onion and scallion extremely thinly so that they cook through while they are in the oven. It's about finding the most effective way to cook the ingredients, Molina says. Leave the slices too big and they won't color. Par-cook ahead of time and they will be soggy.

After the pizza comes out of the oven, Molina adds the final touch: a small amount of fennel pollen. Molina uses fennel pollen for its bright, sweet flavors. "It's a fennel sausage pizza," Molina says, "it should taste like fennel."

5. The Assembly

Before adding any toppings, Molina brushes a mild blend of olive oil and canola oil onto the outer rim of the pie. He then salts the dough. "As a chef, you season as you go," he explains. "The dough has salt in it already, but we want it to stand up to the other ingredients."

Next Molina adds the panna, then the sausage. Molina then adds the onion and scallion, tops the pie with cheese and puts the pizza into the oven.

The oven at Pizzeria Mozza runs at 560-570 degrees. The oven burns double-split almond wood, readily available in California. Because the pieces are smaller, they burn faster and allow Molina to more precisely control the temperatures in the oven.

"It's a bread baker's perspective" says Molina of the cooking process of the pizza, which can take 9-12 minutes depending on how hot the oven is. "To layer the flavors and structure of the dough it takes times." Cooks at Pizzeria Mozza monitor the oven constantly to make sure there are always embers on the oven floor. The heat allows the dough to "spring up" as it cooks. The heat from the logs in the mantle in the upper part of the oven cook the pizza from above. Molina turns the pizza once in a semicircle to ensure even cooking.

After the pizza comes out the oven, Molina adds the fennel pollen. On a busy night, the 65-seat restaurant will serve some 40 pies.

Italian Fennel Sausage Pizza

This pizza recipe appeared in the latest issue of Rifle Loony News, but here I have more room to elaborate. So let’s do that. For the RLN pizza I used grated mozzarella cheese, but if you can find a better mozzarella, say packed in water, and fresh, use that instead. The better the ingredients, the better the flavor.

There are at least two easy ways to make pizza at home. One is to use a 12 inch round Boboli ready to use crust. I always choose thin crust, but Boboli makes the thicker crusts too. The other way is to use a refrigerator crust, like Pillsbury’s pizza crust, which you then set in a cookie sheet and can spread out a little for a thick crust pizza or spread thinly over the whole length and width of a standard 10.5名” cookie sheet for a thin crust. The 10名 sheet will take about twice as much toppings as the 12 inch round, though, so feeds more people, but takes more ingredients. Your choice.

And while this pizza is cooked in the oven, you can also cook it on a 350F degree grill, as long as you place it on the side where the fire isn’t, known as indirect cooking. Place it over the fire directly and the crust burns before the cheese melts.

So, what’s the difference between pork shoulder and pork butt? And why do I ask that? Despite its name, pork butt is upper shoulder meat, and has more marbled fat than pork ‘shoulder’ which is lower on the leg with less fat. (See the note at the end of this recipe, on why I used commercial pork butt for this specific recipe. Hint: it’s not about the marbled fat.)

One more note: Make the sausage ahead of time, then let it sit in the fridge 8-24 hours to let the flavors develop.


  • 6 ounces ground red meat
  • 10 ounces ground pork butt
  • ⅜ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon non-iodized salt
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 4 teaspoons whole fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • ½ cup bottled pizza sauce
  • 12” pizza round (like a Boboli© thin crust)
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 30-36 thinly sliced pepperoni
  • ¼ red onion, sliced thin
  • ½ yellow sweet bell pepper, sliced thin

Prepping the sausage

  1. Combine the ground red meat and ground pork in your stand mixer’s mixing bowl. Dissolve the baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the cold water in a cup, then add the water mixture and spices to the mixing bowl.
  2. Mix on the medium setting for 1-1½ minutes, until the mixture stiffens a bit and is easily shaped into a ball, and stays in that ball. (That stiffer texture is sausage texture as opposed to ground meat crumbles.)

Assembling the pizza on a cutting board

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large skillet, break up the sausage and lightly brown over medium-high heat. Set aside.
  2. Spread the pizza sauce all over the dough, then mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, then pre-cooked Italian sausage and pepperoni, sliced sweet bell pepper and onion.
  3. Transfer the pizza to the oven, on that cutting board, gently sliding it directly onto the rack. (Nothing underneath, so the crust doesn’t get soggy) and bake 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. When done, use a pair of tongs to gently grasp one end of the crust and slide the pizza back on the cutting board. Slice and enjoy!

*I like to use kosher salt just because it is less likely to have additives like anti-caking agents and iodine. But regular table salt will work, as long as it has no iodine. Iodine can add an ‘off’ flavor.

PS The spices in this recipe are from Sausage Season’s Italian Fennel Sausage, adjusted to a 1 pound recipe. If you don’t like fennel, there are several other Italian oriented spice mixes in the book.

Cutting boards, especially if they have a slot/handle for better control, are handy for sliding pizzas into and out of the oven.

Going in you can just tip the board and gently push the pizza onto the cooking rack with your bare hand coming out, grab a pair of tongs and gently pull the pizza back onto the cutting board.

For a really crisp crust, then slide it onto a cookie cooling rack to let it cool without creating ‘toast sweat.’

Wild Pork vs Store Bought

This Fennel Sausage recipe is quite a bit different in meat/fat input than in Sausage Season. Why? Sausage Season is 99.9% paleo sausage book. Meat, fat, spices, period. Stuff our Cro-Magnon ancestors might have on hand, nothing you can’t pronounce, with complete control over fat, salt and what part of the animal we choose to include in the sausage that will sit on our forks and eventually end up in our mouths. Paleo, before herding and feeding animals for the market. And packaging them with an expiration date, then keeping them just below freezing-solid temps for weeks.

I’ll stop ranting, because in fact, that packaging and sitting time create a short cut and is why I used it here. Add in the bit of baking soda and this recipe goes together in less time than it takes to sing Happy Birthday.

So, again, Why? It’s about the chemistry. In Sausage Season I created a 3-Step Process (idiot-proof and natural) for making creamy, tasty sausage out of crumbly all-natural wild ground meat and a dose of commercial pig fat. Follow the 3-Step Process–mix, chill and mix–and it works every time.

The first ‘mix’ in that progression is adding spices, and that always includes salt, and letting the salt sit on the meat overnight so it breaks down the myosin proteins, binding meat molecules to fat, and creating sausage texture. (Myosin proteins are motor proteins best known for their roles in muscle contraction–thus not soft and cuddly by definition.) Since the salt in commercial pork sits on the meat a lot longer, even though it’s not listed on the label, it is there. Trust me. Otherwise this short cut would not work. There may even be nitrates which make it work really fast. (Which, ummm, well, we’re not going there, and I didn’t say that in print.) Point is commercial pork butt makes the science of The 3-Step work much faster.

Sausage & fennel pizza

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

When I was a student in London, way back when, I had a fabulous time sharing a flat with a wonderful collection of people, some of whom I&rsquom still good friends with today. It was a strange old rented place that I&rsquom sure none of us would choose to live in now. There was a long almost institution-style corridor with, as I remember, 4 bedrooms leading off it, a small living room with an old couch that was stuck together with a sort of Velcro that meant it was always sliding apart, frayed carpets, a bath (no shower!) and &hellip well, that was pretty much it. Oh, apart from the &lsquopet mouse&rsquo that we saw scurry in front of the TV and over to the gap between the wall and the floor a few times &hellip eek!

I remember one particular week, a strange smell surfaced in the kitchen. It was an odour like nothing I&rsquod ever encountered before, and got steadily worse each day. One of my house mates assured me that he had already thoroughly sifted through the contents of our fridge which was, shall we say, not the most ordered and well-maintained. After searching high and low for the source of the stink, we finally discovered that it was in fact emanating from the fridge &ndash specifically from a large piece of steak that said house mate had shoved to the back and forgotten about. Let me tell you, that is a smell that I would like to NEVER let grace my nostrils again. Vile.

Sorry about the yucky little story there &hellip but will it make you feel better if I tell you that I was considering telling you an even more disgusting one involving maggots but decided against it? No? Oh well, I tried. You&rsquoll at least be happy to know that my fridge tends to be a little more ordered these days. On the other hand, don&rsquot judge, but at the moment I have things sitting in there that could be in danger of heading down a similar stinky path to the aforementioned meat because I have no idea how to use them. There&rsquos a half tin of coconut milk that is probably past its best and that I should really have frozen to use later, a couple of lemons that I&rsquove grated the zest from, a potato that I peeled and didn&rsquot use today and a half roasted leg of lamb with all the trimmings.

Yup. Leftovers. Lots of them. Which I have nothing against (I know that quite a lot of people, curiously, won&rsquot touch them), but I do often find it a challenge to use them all up before they spoil.

Having said all this, one lot of leftovers that I had absolutely no problem &lsquorepurposing&rsquo a few days ago was the sausage and fennel ragu sauce that I made. This is unbelievably tasty served with pappardelle, toasted breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, but as I was eating it this way it suddenly occurred to me how perfect it would be for an easy and super tasty pizza topping. Provided you&rsquove already got some homemade pizza dough in the freezer (highly recommended &ndash the recipe I&rsquove included below is suggested by the lovely Sally of Sally&rsquos Baking Addiction), this pizza takes absolutely no time at all to throw together.

Just a couple of little &lsquopointers&rsquo before you rush into the kitchen to make the next TWO nights&rsquo meals (yes, two &ndash sausage and fennel pappardelle followed by sausage and fennel pizza the next evening). I like my pizza thin and crispy, so the dough I made was enough for 5 (FIVE!) pizzas, four of which are currently hanging out in my freezer for our next pizza craving. I would also recommend adding some kind of &lsquogreenery&rsquo to the top of your pizza along with your leftover ragu sauce and cheese &ndash I sprinkled over chopped chives but I&rsquom thinking that any other kind of fresh herb or rocket salad leaves would be just as great.

We really enjoyed this tasty pizza, and I hope you do, too. How do you feel about leftovers? Have you got any favourite ways to use them up? Any suggestions gratefully received!

Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza

Detroit style pizza is clearly having a moment in the WGC test kitchen as I’ve created 3 kinds of pizza with this dough in the last few weeks. I can’t get enough. This Sausage Fennel Pizza is the 2nd one to grace the website and the next one is coming soon. Put your party pants on… they are all incredible.

If you’re not familiar with Detroit Style Pizza, here’s the deal. It’s a rectangular pizza with a thick crust that is crispy and chewy and LOADED with cheese. I took the liberty to test it in a large cast iron skillet this time around because not all of us have pizza style rectangular sized baking dishes and we NEED TO COVER THE BASES. So we gave it a little spin – equally as delish.

The crust is perfection. The cheese is ooey and gooey and yes it might seem like a lot when you’re prepping the recipe, but don’t skimp on it. TRUST ME. You need that cheese to melt and caramelize around the edges to really give you all the different flavors that come with this Detroit Style Sausage Fennel Pizza.

And just a quick note on the sausage: you can use any sausage you prefer. I love an Italian sausage because it comes with all sorts of herbs and spices that add additional flavor to the finished dish. Just take whatever kind of sausage you want out of the casing before you start to sauté!! Happy cooking.

Grilled Italian Sausage and Fennel Risotto


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt pepper
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 package Aidell’s Italian chicken sausage
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (NEVER THE IN THE JAR PROCESSED STUFF!)


Saute onion in oil and butter for 3 minutes. Turn heat on burner to medium low and add garlic, being careful not to burn it. After the garlic becomes fragrant, turn burner back up to medium/medium high and add rice, stirring for about 2 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of broth, Continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue to do this one cup of broth at a time as each one becomes absorbed. (This will take about 40 minutes over all).

Meanwhile, turn on your grill and prepare the burners for medium heat. Add Aidells sausage and grilled fennel bulbs. Cook the fennel until it has char marks on both sides and is slightly wilted. Cook the sausage until you have recognizable char marks on both sides. Try to turn both the fennel and the sausage only once during the course of grilling to avoid overcooking.

After the last cup of broth has been added to the risotto and it has cooked down, add the grated parmesan. Next, chop up the fennel and sausage into bite sized pieces and then add them to the pot of risotto.

Let all ingredients cook together for about 5 minutes. Add generous amount of sea salt and pepper and additional fresh grated parmesan when serving.

Serve with arugula tossed with balsamic and olive oil! For insight into wine pairings for grilling, check out “A Good Time with Wine” blog by Mathew Horbund.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup Caramelized Fennel and Onions
  • 4 ounces shredded fontina cheese
  • fennel fronds
  • Basic Grilled Pizza Dough
  • Herb Oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Set up a grill with heat source, coals or gas, on one side over medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill.

On a lightly floured work surface, stretch or roll 1 piece Basic Grilled Pizza Dough or 4 ounces store-bought dough into a 10-inch-long oval or other desired shape. Brush one side lightly with Herb Oil or olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Using your hands, place dough, oiled side down, directly over heat source. Brush dough with herb oil or olive oil and cook until underside is lightly charred and bubbles form all over top, 1 to 2 minutes. With tongs, flip dough and cook until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide dough to cooler side of grill.

Top with cheese and fennel fronds cover grill. Cook until cheese melts and toppings are heated through, 2 to 5 minutes.

What Is Fennel?

Fennel is a very popular vegetable in Italy. Its color is creamy off-white with a bulbous base that has multiple long green hairy fronds coming from it. Additionally, fennel is a member of the carrot family but not considered a root vegetable. It has an aroma that resembles anise and black licorice when raw. Once you sauté it, like what we’re doing with this pizza it caramelizes and gets super tender with a sweeter taste.

Sausage and fennel together pair so wonderfully the savoriness of the meat compliments the sweetness from the sautéed fennel, chefs kiss. I prefer using hot ground Italian sausage for a touch of heat but you can use regular mild sausage. Also, good alternatives to sausage include ground beef and ground turkey!


Step 1

Place a rack in highest position in oven preheat to 425°. Combine fennel bulbs, red onion, and rosemary sprigs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp. oil, season generously with kosher salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Arrange sausages on top, spacing evenly and nestling into vegetables. Prick sausages all over with the tip of a paring knife and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Roast until sausages are browned on top and cooked though and fennel is tender and deeply browned in spots, 25–30 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, coarsely chop reserved fennel fronds (you want about ¼ cup) set aside. Cut the ends off orange to reveal flesh. Rest orange upright on a cut side and cut down around orange to remove peel and white pith, rotating it as you go discard peel. Working over a small bowl, hold orange in your hand and cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze membranes to extract any remaining juice into bowl discard membranes. Add vinegar to orange segments and juice and toss to combine season with kosher salt and pepper.

Step 3

Remove baking sheet from oven. Using your hand or a spoon to block segments, pour juices from orange over sausage and fennel mixture. Set orange segments aside and let sausages and fennel mixture cool 5 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer sausages and fennel mixture to a platter. Crumble rosemary leaves over and scatter reserved orange segments and fennel fronds on top. Season with sea salt and a bit more pepper drizzle with oil.

How would you rate Roast Sausage and Fennel with Orange?

Delicious flavor combo, and couldn't be simpler. I agree that it works to have the onions and fennel sliced thickly, 3/8 to 1/2 inch. I had some nice bok choy and roasted that along with the fennel and onions, and it worked great--I think because of the fennel in the sausage and the fennel in the fennel :) it balanced very well. This is a keeper for me, and it works almost as well with vegan sausage as with pork sausage, as long as you're using something that captures that sweet, fennel-seed quality.

Made this on a cold winter night, the perfect sheet pan dinner!

Really great. The whole family loved this dish. I cooked it on a whim to use some nice fennel we had. Due to Covid 19 lockdown, and spontaneity, I had to make some substitutions. First I subbed the navel for Mandarin oranges. I juiced one of them whole, and simply peeled and separated the one other, removing as much pith as I could. This still worked beautifully and the kids were stoked to get Cuties in a dish made my daddy! Second, my last red onion had yielded to a fuzzy little white colony of friends so I subbed in a couple medium shallots. I found the aromatic element to be up to par, but honestly missed the color that would've come with proper red onion slices. Third, no sweet Italian sausage, so I used some chicken apple. The end result was still really special. The family all really liked everything. Sweet, tangy, and complex for a dish that takes about 8 minutes of active work. On a technical note, I would recommend slicing the fennel bulb around 3/8" thick to prevent it from burning before the sausage is cooked.

This is one of my favorite, quick and easy weeknight dinner recipes! I have had times when I burn the fennel/onions so I would suggest cutting them on the larger size so they finish with the sausage. Otherwise if they are finished early, I just take them out and let the sausage roast on their own.


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