Today Around Dulwich welcomes guests chef, Steve from Franklins who talks us through his favourite Sausage and Fennel Ragu recipe.

Hi, I’m  Stephen or Steve original from Kilkenny, a little city in the south east of Ireland (mostly know for hurling,  Google it) where I trained for three years before eventually moving to London eight years ago for the bright lights and endless pies. I’ve worked the majority of my time in pubs and restaurants around Peckham and East Dulwich, where I’ve been the sous chef in Franklin’s a seasonal British restaurant on Lordship Lane for the last four years. Cooking can definitely be stressful and a chore sometimes but the positives will always outweigh the negatives every time, and endless cycle of education no matter how long you’ve been doing it, there’s always plenty more to learn.

The best ragu takes hours of reduction, softened of veg and browning but this quick cost efficient recipe is just as good. Super flavourful, deep and rich ideal for gloomy dark nights.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cooking time: 60 minutes


1 large onion

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small fennel bulb

3 cloves of garlic

Teaspoon of chilli flakes

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds 

6 good quality pork sausages (Italian if possible)

600ml of chopped tomatoes 

100ml of red wine

100ml of milk 

1 bay leaf

To serve:

500g of pasta of your choice, pappardelle is my personal favourite for this dish

Grated Parmesan 

Chopped parsley 

Grated nutmeg (optional)


  1. Start by dicing the onion, fennel and garlic as small as possibly then remove the sausage meat from the skins
  2. In a heavy bottom pan heat the olive oil and add the diced vegetables along with the fennel seeds and cook till softened
  3. Add wine and reduce, when the wine is cooked out fry the sausage meat and chilli till the meat is brown and broken up completely
  4. Tip the tomatoes and milk into the mixture with the bay leaf bring it to the boil then let simmer in a low heat till it’s reduced and has thickened
  5. Cook pasta following pack instructions, drain and make sure to keep some of the starchy pasta water. Toss sauce , pasta and small amount of pasta water altogether
  6. Garnish with Parmesan, chopped parsley and a small amount of grated nutmeg if desired.

Chef Stephen Forristal 

Instagram: se_chef90

For more recipes check out our regular contributor Suzanne James