This is the perfect recipe for when you're in a hurry, but want to try something a bit different. I had never tried fennel before this recipe, but the combination of the fennel and the onion is quite lovely. It adds a subtle sweetness to the dish that you can't really put your finger on.
Fennel (or Anise) is one of the more expensive vegetables so I understand if you want to skip it, but I would give this recipe a go either way. Don't let the mild black licorice description turn you off though. I hate black licorice and yet these subs are super tasty. If you're aren't sure how to prepare fennel (it is kind of crazy looking) you can see a quick tutorial here.
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 ounces chicken and sun-dried tomato sausage, thinly diagonally sliced
4 (2-ounce) submarine rolls or hoagie rolls
1/2 cup tomato-basil pasta sauce
8 (1/2-ounce) slices provolone cheese
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, fennel, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes. Add sausage, and sauté for 3 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned and vegetables begin to brown.
2. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted. Spoon about 2/3 cup sausage mixture on the bottom half of each roll, and top each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Place 2 cheese slices over sauce. Arrange sandwiches on baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.