This Sausage, Fennel and Kale Ragù uses only a few ingredients, but delivers maximum flavour. It’s loaded with caramelized onion, fennel, crumbled sausage and wilted greens. Hearty, comforting, stick-to-your-ribs delicious, but won’t leave you feeling weighed down. Try it over cauliflower purée, zucchini noodles, or with a side of roasted potatoes.
In case you missed it, I’ve partnered with @jovialfoods to give away an incredible prize pack to one lucky winner!
This prize pack includes:
- Variety pack of Grain-Free Cassava Flour Pasta – one box of each shape (penne, elbows, fusilli, spaghetti, orzo)
- Variety pack jarred tomatoes (crushed, diced, whole peeled)
- 1 bottle Olio Nuovo organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 signed copy of The Primal Gourmet Cookbook
~How to Enter The Giveaway~
- Follow @primal_gourmet and @jovialfoods on Instagram.
- “Like” this Instagram post.
- Tag at least one friend on this Instagram post.
What You Need for Sausage, Fennel and Kale Ragù
As the name suggests, this ragù makes use of sausage. I opt for a mild Italian pork sausage here for a few reasons. The seasonings pair well with the tomato sauce, ground pork tends to have more fat and flavour than other meats, and Italian sausage is almost always made with fennel seeds, which I absolutely love.
Depending on the sausage and who made it, you’ll encounter varying amounts of fennel seeds. For me, it’s almost always not enough, so I bump it up by adding extra to the sauce. I recommend frying a small piece of sausage on its own and tasting it for seasoning before deciding how much fennel seed you want to add, if at all.
If you buy sausage in casings, you’ll want to remove it so that you can easily crumble it in the pan. If you buy it bulk, that’s one less step for you. Either way, I like crumbling the sausage roughly so that you get a mix of big and small pieces. This is especially nice when serving the ragù over cauliflower purée, which is smooth and creamy.
Note: If you can’t find Whole30-compliant or Paleo Italian sausage, you can substitute other types of sausages or make your own sausage mixture with ground pork, Italian seasoning, dried chiles and fennel seeds. If using other types, the flavour profile will obviously be different.
Easily one of the most underrated vegetables! Fresh fennel can be enjoyed raw, roasted, or sautéed. In this Sausage, Fennel and Kale Ragù it gets caramelized along with onions, adding a subtly sweet, anise flavour.
For extra body, colour and texture, I like to finish the ragù with a big bunch of chopped lacinato kale (AKA Tuscan kale, dino kale, black kale, cavolo nero). The leaves are softer than curly kale and I find it easier to work with.
Not only is it delicious, but kale is loaded with vitamin A, K, C, B6, as well as manganese, copper, calcium and magnesium. Along with the fennel, it adds fibre to the ragú, leaving you feeling full for longer.
If you can’t find lacinato kale, you can substitute green curly kale, collard greens, spinach or escarole.
When cooking recipes that call for only a few ingredients, it’s very important to use the best quality you can find. This doesn’t just apply to protein and produce, but also to pantry staples.
Jovial Foods makes some of my absolute favourite gluten-free and paleo pastas, as well as tomato products and olive oil. I used their Organic Crushed Tomatoes for this Sausage, Fennel and Kale Ragù and I kid you not, it took things to the next level.
The crushed tomatoes have a subtle sweetness and bright flavour without the harsh acidity of similar products. The texture is perfect and gives the sauce just the right consistency – not too thick and not too watery.
I’m a huge fan of their products and am very excited to be giving away an awesome prize pack to a lucky winner!
What Do You Serve the Ragù With?
If you’re keeping things Whole30, try the ragù over some zucchini noodles, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or a bed of cauliflower purée (there’s a recipe for the cauli purée in my cookbook and it couldn’t be easier.)
If you want to try the ragú over some pasta, but want to keep things Paleo-friendly, I recommend Jovial Foods Cassava Flour Pasta. It’s grain-free, comes in a variety of shapes, and tastes delicious. For the Sausage, Fennel and Kale Ragù, I recommend either the elbow macaroni, fusilli or penne so that the pasta traps some of the sauce.
For those finding their Food Freedom, you can also try Jovial Foods Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pasta. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was regular wheat pasta!
This recipe is sponsored by Jovial Foods. However, all thoughts and opinions are the author’s alone. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
Sausage, Fennel & Kale Ragù – Whole30, Paleo
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium fennel bulb thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 jars @Jovialfoods crushed tomatoes around 36 ounces
- 1 bunch lacinato kale – sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat sauté pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil & heat until shimmering. Add sausage & cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned all over, around 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl & set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of fat in the pot.
- Add onions & fennel & season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until caramelized & soft, around 12 minutes. Add the garlic & fennel seeds & cook 2 more minutes. Return browned sausage to the pan, add the crushed tomatoes, black pepper & stir to combine. Add the kale, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, turn heat to medium & cook 20 minutes.
- Taste the ragù for seasoning and adjust with salt & pepper as desired. Serve over cauliflower purée or with side of choice.