Fennel Pasta with Greens

March 1, 2012

Fennel Pasta with Greens

This is variation on the Fennel Gratin listed above.  Instead of baking the fennel, you sauté it and add it to pasta.  Adding greens to it provides nice color contrast and extra flavor, and is a yummy way to use up any greens you may have lingering in your refrigerator. Or instead of the greens, use the finely chopped fronds of your fennel (don’t use the fibrous stalks, just the delicate fronds).

4 small or 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and sliced thinly.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red chile flakes
1/4 (or more) cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 bunch greens, chopped
Fennel fronds from the bulbs, chopped
1/2 lb pasta (rotini or fusilli)
Salt and black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet to medium heat.  Add fennel, season with salt, pepper and red chile flakes, and sauté, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender but not limp.
If using fennel fronds, added them to the fennel.
Meanwhile, boil pasta.  Three minutes before pasta is done, add chopped greens.
Drain pasta when done and mix with fennel.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

Note: you can use the fennel prepared this way as a pizza topping instead of adding it to pasta.

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