Lemon Sausage Pasta Recipe

I firmly believe that a bowl of sausage pasta and the prospect of an evening of watching movies with your best friends should be prescribed as the cure for all ills. There are no hard and fast rules. You can add a few peas to the sauce, use creme fraiche instead of cream, omit the chilli and use any type of sauce you like, from lots of Italian fennel to a packet of Sainsbury’s Cumberland.

The only thing you need to do is brown the meat nuggets well and use lots of lemon. The shape of the pasta is your choice and yours alone, although I would argue for something that will catch the sauce – finding a bit of sausage in a pasta tube or shell is a very good thing.

My final suggestion is that you buy a garlic baguette to eat with. And when I say garlic baguette, I mean the kind of supermarket that will probably burn your fingers and the roof of your mouth. There are things in life that are better than their more gourmet cousins. Somehow a homemade garlic bread just doesn’t do it the way a £1.60 double pack from Tesco would.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes




  • 8 sausages
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 banana shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 350ml white wine
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 2 lemons, zest of 1 and juice of 2
  • 200 ml fresh cream
  • 400g dry pasta
  • a good handful of grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems coarsely chopped


  • 1 supermarket garlic bread (go for it, it will be the best decision you make all week)


1. First, put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.

2. Remove the sausage meat from its skin and break the meat into nuggets.

3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil, and once the pan and oil are hot, add the sausage nuggets. Fry them until golden brown and gnarled all over. Transfer them from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate. Don’t stack them too much on top of each other or they will get soggy.

4. Lower the heat under the pan. There should be a good bit of sausage fat in the pan, but add a little more oil. Fry the shallots with a pinch of salt for 8 minutes, or until soft and golden. Then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Thanks to your sausage pan, this will all go pretty badly instead of leaving you with perfectly translucent softened shallots and garlic. But it is okay. Gnarliness = flavor.

5. Add the fennel seeds and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute, then return the sausage nuggets to the pan.

6. Pour in the wine and let it bubble. Add grated nutmeg to taste and lemon zest and juice. Simmer for 1 minute then turn off the heat and add the cream. Mix everything together and let it rest while the pasta cooks.

7. Cook the pasta in the water, which is now at a rolling boil, until al dente. Reserve a little cooking water when you drain it.

8. Return the heat to low heat under the sauce. Add the pasta and the cooking water to the sausage pan with the handful of grated parmesan and a little black pepper. Use tongs to toss everything together, making sure all the pasta is coated in the sauce. Then add the parsley and mix again.

9. Serve in warm bowls with additional Parmesan cheese to grate over each bowl.

Recipe from The Art of Friday Night Dinner, by Eleanor Steafel, out March 30 (Bloomsbury, £26)