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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the penne according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a simmer then add the shaved fennel and the lemon zest. Simmer until the cream is slightly thickened and the fennel is slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the penne and a splash of the cooking water to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve garnished with the fennel frond and grated parmesan.
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