18 February 2010

Fennel pasta

Serves 4

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced - I used a mandoline
Linguine pasta
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of cubed pancetta, optional
2 tsp crushed red chillies
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano
3/4 cup broth - I used homemade chicken broth
1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add pancetta over medium heat. Once the fat renders, remove pancetta, add crushed red chillies and garlic. Cook until garlic begins to turns deep yellow.
  2. Add sliced fennel and stir for a minute or two. Now add lemon juice, broth, salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt - parmesan will add some saltiness as well. Bring to a simmer, cover, lower heat and let cook until fennel is done. This should take about 15-20 mins.
  3. During this time, cook the pasta. Keep it a little more than al dente, so that it can finish cooking in the fennel sauce. Save 1/2 a cup of pasta water.
  4. Now uncover the fennel sauce and let it cook on medium heat to cook off most of the liquid. Until you have 2 tbsps of the liquid left.
  5. Add the partially cooked pasta to the pan, stir to combine and add a 1/4 cup of the pasta water. If it's too dry, add another 1/4 cup. The idea is to keep it moist. Cook for a minute until pasta is cooked through.
  6. Mix in parmesan reggiano and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.


kritika said...

I made this for dinner and it came out very well! My variations were the inclusion of mushrooms, a little more chilli and a punch of brown sugar. And I left out the cheese as I didn't have any. Highly recommend this for a week-night dinner. Thanks Safiya x

Safiya said...

I am glad you enjoyed it :) Addition of mushrooms and sugar sounds good!