This is a delightfully moreish dish - garlic and spinach combine to create a herbaceous sauce, while the fennel and chilli spiked sausage adds a deeply savoury kick. This is a great way to use up almost old spinach sitting in the fridge, and works beautifully with any short tubular pasta.
For the garganelli
450g tipo 00 flour
255g eggs - approx 4 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
For the sauce
300g English spinach leaves
1 elephant garlic clove left whole (or 3-4 regular garlic cloves)
3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
30g grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and extra to serve
For the sausage
1 tbsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tbsp whole fennel seeds
6 fennel pork sausage links
- In a large bowl add the flour and create a well in the centre. Gently whisk the eggs before pouring into the well, then using a fork whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating a bit of flour at a time until the mix comes together as a shaggy dough.
- Transfer to a work surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, and not sticky at all. If at first you feel that the dough is too wet or dry, knead it for a few minutes to give it a chance to come together on its own, before adjusting with a spritz of water or dusting of flour if necessary.
- Cover or store the dough somewhere airtight and leave it to rest for at least 30 min.
- Cut the dough into four pieces. Working with one at a time (keeping the other pieces covered while you do), using a pasta machine roll the dough out until it’s roughly 1/16 inch thick (typically the third to last setting on most machines).
- Cut the sheet of dough into 1&1/4 inch squares with a straight wheel cutter or knife.
- Place one square at a time diagonally on a gnocchi board so you have two corners at the top and bottom. Using a small dowel (or the handle of a wooden spoon), roll the corner closest to you up around the dowel and away from you, until the two corners overlap to form a tube.
- Gently slide the garganelli off the dowel and set aside on a baking sheet lined with fine semolina.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and drop in the spinach leaves and garlic. Blanche for 2-3 min, drain and transfer to a blender, along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 30g of grated Parmigiano and a good pinch of salt - blitz to a smooth and luscious sauce and set aside.
- Pound the chilli flakes and fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle. Remove the sausage meat from its casing and add to a frying pan with a glug of olive oil. Use the back of a spoon to gently break the sausage meat up to a coarse mince, before adding in the crushed chilli and fennel seeds.
- Cook over a medium heat for around 10-12 minutes, or until the sausage meat is dark in colour and crispy - set aside.
- Bring a pot of well salted water to boil and drop in the garganelli, cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.
- Reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining, then toss the garganelli with the spinach sauce, adding pasta water as needed to ensure the sauce coats the pasta perfectly. Season to taste.
- Serve topped with crispy sausage and grated Parmigiano.
This recipe was created by Gabriella from @_noregrettispaghetti, check out Gabriella's instagram page here or website here.
Gabriella is a Londoner born to Armenian/Canadian parents, with a love of all things Italian, especially pasta. She fell in love with food between the pages of her mum’s Reader’s Digest cookbooks, and at the table of her grandmother’s Cypriot kitchen, watching dolma be rolled and lahmajun made.
When she’s not making her favourite carb, she can be found sharing some of her recipes on her blog, drinking far too much coffee, or hanging out with her dog, Gordon.