This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.
Playing Fat Spaghetti and Spicy Meat Ragu with Fennel


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, half a palmful
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (a beef and pork mix may be substituted)
  • 2 fresh or dried small red Fresno chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes, look for D.O.P. on the label or when ripe and in season 10 to 12 fresh plum or Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 long piece of orange rind
  • 1 pound bucatini or pici (fat spaghetti, not hollow)
  • Fresh sheeps milk ricotta or shaved Pecorino cheese
  • Minced fresh mint and flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Serves: 4



Heat EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add fennel seeds and stir; add meat and brown well while crumbling. Add chilis, onions, garlic, and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook to soften onions, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until fragrant. Add wine and reduce by half then add stock and tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Reduce heat to a simmer, throw in citrus rind to mellow the sauce. Simmer 30 minutes to cook down tomatoes. Discard orange rind.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and cook pasta to al dente. Just before draining, add 1 cup starchy cooking liquid to your sauce. Drain pasta and toss with sauce to combine, 1-2 minutes.


Serve in bowls topped with fresh or shaved cheese and garnished with mint and parsley.