Chef's Recipes

Luca's gnocchetti Sardi with pork and fennel sausage ragù, anchovy and mint

Pork and fennel sausage finds a new life in Isaac McHale''s ragù, served here with dumpling-shaped gnocchetti Sardi. Anchovies add a small burst of umami.

By Isaac McHale
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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"This is a great quick evening-meal kind of dish," says Issac McHale.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Italian-style pork and fennel sausages, skins removed, broken into chunks (125gm each)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 100 ml red wine (white wine works as well)
  • 400 gm canned chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 440 gm gnocchetti Sardi (see note)
  • 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup mint, sliced (loosely packed)
  • Ricotta salata (optional), finely grated to serve


  • 1
    Heat a deep frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and fry the sausage meat, letting it colour at first without stirring. Once all the meat is coloured (10-12 minutes), reduce the heat and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and cook, checking often, until vegetables are softened (5-6 minutes). Remove lid, increase heat a little, add the wine and stir until it's evaporated (5 minutes). Add tomatoes, stock and bay leaf (just add water and a bit of a stock cube if you don't have chicken stock around, or even just water). Simmer until sauce comes together and reduces down (25-30 minutes).
  • 2
    When sauce is reduced, get a large saucepan of salted water on the boil and cook your pasta until al dente (9-12 minutes). Drain pasta and add to the sauce along with a small ladleful of cooking liquid (about ¼ cup; the starch in the water helps the sauce cling to the pasta). Remove from heat and add anchovies. Serve immediately topped with mint and ricotta salata.


Gnocchetti Sardi, also known as malloreddus, is a small dumpling-shaped pasta, available from select delicatessens and Italian grocers. If it's unavailable, substitute orecchiette.Drink Suggestion: A cool-climate pinot noir (think Alto Adige or Mornington Peninsula). Drink suggestion by Johnny Smith