My family comes from Southern Italy, so I am not accustom to cooking with fennel which is a Northern Italian ingredient. I love the flavor of fennel in the winter and wanted to make a cold weather version of sausage and peppers.
I knew it had to be a crockpot recipe because there is nothing better on a snowy winter day than to smell meat stewing.
When I began assembling this dish my kids asked if it was going to be spicy. I was thinking about adding some red pepper flakes which is very common in Southern Italian dishes.
As I started to look through my spice draw hot paprika caught my attention. I decided to add it and make this dish more of a Spanish/Italian fusion stew.
The results were delicious. Everyone enjoyed the bright flavor of fennel and the heat and depth of flavor that the hot paprika brought to the meal. If you don't have this spice on hand add regular paprika and cayenne pepper.
Slow Cooker Sausage Tomato Fennel Stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 to 8 hours
Ingredients (4 - 6)
- 1 pound of Sweet Italian sausage
- 1 small fennel bulb chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 bunch of baby spinach or other greens
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon of Hot Spanish Paprika (Pimetón Picante) or 1 tablespoon of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pepper to taste
- optional: corn starch to thicken
1) Put the onions, fennel and garlic in the pot first. Then put the sausage and top it with the spinach.
2) Whisk together: the wine with the paprika, sugar, salt and pepper pour this over the spinach.
3)Pour the tomatoes over the spinach and cook for 6 to 8 hours.
If you would like a thicker sauce add 1 to 2 tablespoons before serving to the sauce, whisk it in to avoid lumps.
Serve over potatoes, rice, or polenta.
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