Fennel Pasta

I had fennel left over after making fennel polpette using only the greens. I decided to use the fennel to make a Sicily-inspired pasta dish with raisins, pine nuts, and saffron. When I made this for the first time, I thought it was a bit bland. Now I added sugar and parmigiano and the result is very tasty. The flavors of the raisins, saffron, and fennel work together very well and are supported by the pine nuts and parmigiano. This is a nice vegetarian pasta dish that I will make again. I am not sure if it resembles any traditional Sicilian pasta dish.

DSC09050

Ingredients

DSC09034
For 2 servings

400 grams (.9 lb) fennel

1 shallot, chopped

20 grams (2 Tbsp) pine nuts

20 grams (2 Tbsp) raisins, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained

20 grams (1 1/2 Tbsp) sugar

120 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground white pepper

150 grams (.33 lb) penne pasta

1 envelope (.1 gram) powdered saffron

3 handfulls of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Preparation

DSC09035
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the bottom and the greens off the fennel bulbs, cut them in halves vertically, and slice them into 1 cm (1/2″) slices.

DSC09037
Parboil the fennel for 5 minutes.

DSC09036
Meanwhile, sauté the shallot in the olive oil until soft and fragrant.

DSC09038
Take the fennel out of the boiling water and allow excess water to drain away.

DSC09039
Add the pasta to the water in which the fennel has been cooked. Add some salt as well and cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.

DSC09040
Add the fennel to the shallots and sauté for a minute over high heat.

DSC09041
Add the sugar and sauté for another minute.

DSC09042
Lower the heat to medium. Add the raisins and pine nuts.

DSC09043
Add the white wine and stir. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

DSC09044
Cover and cook over medium low heat for about 8 minutes or until the fennel is tender but firm to the bite, stirring now and then.

DSC09045
Add the powdered saffron.

DSC09046
Stir until the saffron has dissolved.

DSC09047
Drain the pasta and add it to the fennel with two handfulls of freshly grated parmigiano.

DSC09048
Toss to mix.

DSC09050
Serve on warm plates, sprinkled with the remaining parmigiano.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Fennel Pasta

  1. I don’t know, Stefan. Considering the ingredients and the availability of fennel on the island, I bet this is very close, if not the same, as some Sicilian dish. Even so, whether it is authentic doesn’t change the fact that you’ve created a very tasty dish, one that I cannot wait to try. 🙂

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.