Library Blog

Cooking at the Library

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Sunday Cooking with Chris and Romie this week highlights one of the many recipes available for free online through your public library.  The recipes depicted in these segments require a reasonable amount of prep and cook time, ideally for a Sunday afternoon or Saturday when one has a bit more time to put into a good family dinner.  The recipes we chose do not include a lot of exotic ingredients, instead relying upon household staples to produce great tasting food you and your family will love!

Today we have chosen a delicious dish sure to please any family: Rigatoni with sausage and fennel.  This is a hearty dish with a cream-based sauce, so you won’t have the same deep red color as you would were you using traditional jar sauce.  A few notes about our recipe: we struck the fennel seeds from our version due to the fact that the sausage we procured from our local supermarket already had fennel added.  We also cut down the amount of fresh fennel from 3 cups to 1, or about the size of a medium-sized bulb.  Fennel, especially in seed form, can be assertive and can take over a dish.  This can be displeasing to some eaters, so we feel our version is more family friendly and sure to please!

The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are as follows:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups chopped fennel (we reduced this to 1, and it turned out delicious.  If you’re a fan of fennel, have at it with the recommended 3 cups!)

1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion

1 ¼ pounds sweet Italian sausages, casing removed

2 cloves minced garlic

½ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds with mortar and pestle (omitted due to sausage having fennel added to it)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

1 cup white wine

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup half and half

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1-pound rigatoni

½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup grated parmesan cheese


Garten, I (2016).  Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  New York: Clarkson Potter.


The recipe used in this video can be found in the book Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten.  This title, along with several others by Ina Garten can be found in the Library’s online eCatalog.

There are many other electronic cook books available for you to borrow immediately through the Library’s website. These titles can be downloaded instantly to your smart phone, computer, or tablet through the free Libby app when linked to your library card.  Don’t have a library card? Apply for a digital one today, right on the Library’s website!

Next week, another one of our talented librarians will be sharing a delicious recipe for a satisfying side dish for you to try at home.