Sausage with Fennel and Olives

Tonight's dinner was from Lidia's Favorite Recipes. This book is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It will be on the top of my list for possible Christmas gifts! Sausage with Fennel and Olives, Salsicce con Finocchio e Olive. We do not eat a lot of Fennel. Fennel always reminded me of a holiday. It was something my Dad liked to have on the table at the end of the meal. He would cut slices of it for me. He loved it and I of course enjoyed it too.

I was pleased with the result of this recipe. Chris really enjoyed it. The fennel almost melted in your mouth. I made this on Monday and so Chris just had to heat it up when he got home.

Sausage with Fennel and Olives (serves 6)
I did cut the recipe in half and of course did not use the garlic!

Ingredients -
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 sweet Italian sausages (about 2 pounds)
1 cup dry white wine
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup large green olives, squashed and pitted
3 large fennel bulbs (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method -
Pour half of the olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages; cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes or more. Carefully add wine and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. Transfer sausages to a platter; pour over cooking liquid.

Add remaining olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cook about 1 minute. Clear a hot spot and cook the crushed red pepper in it for a couple of seconds. Add olives; toss and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add fennel chunks and stir to combine. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover skillet, and cook over medium high heat for 20 minutes, stirring now and then, until the fennel softens, and begins to color. Add a little water to the pan if fennel remains hard; you want it to be wilted but not mushy.

When the fennel is cooked through, return sausages and wine to skillet. Toss together with fennel and cook, uncovered for about 5 minutes. Adjust the season to taste.

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