We had this Roasted Sausage, Peppers and Double Fennel over penne last night and wow, was it good. The sausage and vegetables caramelize into a tender, savoury mixture, redolent with the licorice flavour of the fennel bulb and seeds. The recipe, from Fast Flavours by Chef Michael Smith, says the dish is done in 30 minutes, but recommends leaving it for 45 to 60 minutes, which results in deeper caramelization. I agree. I used hot Italian sausages, but any kind would do. I also parboiled the whole sausages in simmering water for five minutes to render out some of the fat.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives and preservatives are the sausages and balsamic vinegar. Look for sausages with all-natural ingredients, including the casings and any filler. I use balsamic vinegar with no sulfites added.

Toss sausage coins with peppers, garlic, fennel and fennel seeds

Spread in large roasting pan and roast for at least 45 minutes

Serve over cooked pasta and drizzle with balsamic vinegar


6 Italian sausages, sliced into ½-inch (1 cm) coins

Cloves from two heads of garlic, peeled

1 fennel bulb, cored and chopped

4 or 5 bell peppers, a mixture of colours, seeded and each cut into 8 pieces

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) fennel seeds

1 tsp salt (5 ml)

Freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Toss all ingredients except the vinegar together in a large mixing bowl until they are evenly mixed and lightly seasoned. Place mixture in a large roasting pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, until tender and browning. Toss with cooked pasta and top each serving with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

From Fast Flavours by Chef Michael Smith