Savor the Flavor: Melted Fennel Pasta Recipe for Food Enthusiasts

Melted Fennel Pasta is a delightful dish that celebrates the unique flavors of fennel, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and savory notes. This weeknight pasta recipe comes together in less than an hour, making it an excellent choice for a quick and delicious dinner. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this mouthwatering recipe, explore its ingredients, and provide tips for customization.


Ingredients for Melted Fennel Pasta

Stracciatella Sausage Pasta with Melted Onions & Fennel - Tastefully Grace

To prepare this dish for four servings, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 large fennel bulbs with fronds (about 3 lb. total)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. gemelli, fusilli, or other medium pasta
  • 1 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Cooking Steps

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create this flavorful Melted Fennel Pasta:

Step 1: Prepare Fennel

  1. Cut the stalks from 3 large fennel bulbs with fronds and coarsely chop the fronds. Set the fronds aside.
  2. Remove the tough outer layer from the bulbs, halve them lengthwise (through the root ends), and discard the cores.
  3. Thinly slice the fennel bulbs crosswise.

Step 2: Caramelizing the Fennel

  1. Heat ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven or another heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced fennel bulbs, 1 thinly sliced medium onion, 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the fennel starts to brown around the edges (approximately 8–10 minutes).
  4. Uncover and add 4 finely chopped garlic cloves, 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, and ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.
  5. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel and onion turn deep golden brown and become soft and jammy (about 15–20 minutes). Adjust the heat and add a splash of water if needed to avoid scorching.

Step 3: Preparing the Pasta

  1. While the fennel mixture is cooking, boil 12 oz. of gemelli, fusilli, or another medium pasta in a large pot of salted water. Cook it until it’s just shy of al dente, which is usually about 1 minute less than the package directions.

Step 4: Final Touches

  1. Once the pasta is ready, combine it with the caramelized fennel mixture.
  2. Add 1 oz. of finely grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, 1 tsp. of finely grated lemon zest, and 2 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice to the pasta and fennel mixture.
  3. Stir everything together to ensure the pasta is well coated and the flavors are harmoniously combined.

Customizing Your Melted Fennel Pasta

Roasted Fennel Pasta with Lemon and Capers — Plantbasedredhead

One of the great things about this recipe is its flexibility. You can customize it to suit your taste preferences:

  • Skip the anchovies if you’re not a fan.
  • To add a meaty twist, cook Italian sausage in a skillet, set it aside, and cook the fennel in the sausage fat.
  • For a touch of sweetness, deglaze the skillet with white wine.
  • If you’re a fan of fennel, cook the stalks along with the pasta, then remove them before draining.

Melted Fennel Pasta is a culinary masterpiece that showcases the incredible flavor of fennel. With its harmonious blend of ingredients, it’s a dish that can be customized to cater to your personal taste. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a flavorful dish to impress your guests, this pasta recipe is a must-try. Explore the sweet and savory delights of Melted Fennel Pasta for your next meal.

[Original content source: Epicurious]

Customization and Serving Ideas for Melted Fennel Pasta

What are the key ingredients for Melted Fennel Pasta?

To create the delectable Melted Fennel Pasta, you’ll need the following essential ingredients:

  • 3 large fennel bulbs with fronds (about 3 lb. total)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal salt (or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt), plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

These ingredients come together to form the foundation of this flavorful dish, offering a perfect blend of savory and sweet notes. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, these components will help you create a mouthwatering Melted Fennel Pasta.

What kind of pasta can vegetarians eat?

When it comes to vegetarian-friendly pasta options, the focus is on dishes that highlight the natural flavors of vegetables. Consider indulging in classic Italian pasta choices like:

  • Pasta Primavera: A delightful medley of seasonal vegetables sautéed with pasta.

  • Ravioli and Tortellini: Stuffed with various vegetarian fillings, these pasta options offer a satisfying experience.

  • Pasta with Plain Tomato Sauce: A simple yet delicious choice that lets the freshness of tomatoes shine through.

These Italian-inspired dishes are not only vegetarian but also bursting with flavor, making them the perfect go-to options for those following a meatless diet. Enjoy the richness of pasta without compromising your vegetarian principles.

What does fennel go well with?

Fennel’s subtle aniseed flavor opens up a world of flavorful combinations. Here’s where fennel shines:

  • Seafood: Fennel complements seafood beautifully, whether it’s stuffed into whole fish, sliced into a refreshing side salad, or integrated into a pasta dish. Its aromatic notes enhance the ocean’s delights.

  • Chicken and Pork: Fennel doesn’t stop at seafood; it pairs wonderfully with chicken and pork, especially when used in dishes like sausages. Its versatile taste can elevate your poultry and pork creations to new heights.

With its unique taste, fennel is a versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavors of a wide range of dishes, making it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike.

What is vegetarian pasta made of?

Vegetarian pasta, such as zucchini, spaghetti squash, eggplant, and butternut squash pasta, is crafted from fresh vegetables. These vegetables are transformed into pasta-like ribbons, shreds, scrapes, or julienne cuts, offering a delectable alternative to traditional pasta. The primary objective of vegetarian pasta is to increase your vegetable intake while reducing carbohydrate consumption. If you’re looking to cut back on carbs and calories, these veggie pasta options are a fantastic choice, as suggested by Thayer.

How do you add protein to pasta without meat?

For a protein boost in your pasta dishes, consider that pasta itself contains approximately 5 to 8 grams of protein per cup. If you’re aiming for even more protein, there are excellent non-meat options to explore. Look no further than beans, nuts, and seeds like cashews, pistachios, white beans, and pumpkin seeds. These ingredients not only increase the protein content but also enhance the overall flavor and texture of your pasta creations.

What veg goes well with fennel?

Fennel’s versatility in complementing a wide range of vegetables is truly impressive. It pairs beautifully with a variety of vegetables, including:

  • Apples
  • Beetroot
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Celeriac
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Green beans
  • Guava
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lemon
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pomegranate
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon

Furthermore, fennel’s delightful flavor also pairs harmoniously with herbs and seasonings like dill, elderflower, thyme, chickpea, and cumin. Whether you’re preparing a vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish, fennel can be a delightful addition, complementing ingredients like chicken, fish, mussels, and sausages.

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