Monday, August 22, 2011

Pasta with Caramelized Fennel and Onion

As one of Mark Bittman's newest fans, I now bring you the first thing I made from his book, "The Food Matters Cookbook".  I think fennel is so pretty as well as being crunchy and delicious, and I'm always happy to find a way to use it.  (okay so this only the second time I've ever used it, but who's counting?)

I really liked this dish, and all members of the family managed to eat some, so that's saying a lot.  I added some ground chicken sausage, and sauteed spinach for color.  

Here's the recipe for you:

Makes: 4 servings
  • Salt
  • 3 large or 4 medium fennel bulbs, cored and sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces any pasta, preferably whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup white wine, optional
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the fennel, onion, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the vegetables have given up their liquid and are almost sticking to the pan. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

2. Cook the pasta in boiling water until it's tender but not mushy.  When it's almost done, turn the heat under the skillet to medium, add the wine or some of the pasta cooking water to the pan, and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.  Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water.  Toss the pasta in the pan with  the fennel and onion, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if the dish seems dry.  Season as desired and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.  Serve immediately. 

BTW...I'm really enjoying this cookbook.  There are so many things I'm looking forward to making, I don't even know where to start!


The Blonde Duck said...

I've never tried fennel!

Does he use alot of sugar subsitutes in his cookbook?

The Japanese Redneck said...

I've never tried it either.

A pretty dish!

Julie said...

He doesn't have a lot of sweet stuff in the book, but where he does, he uses real sugar, molasses or honey.

♥peachkins♥ said...

caramelized onion makes everything taste good! your pasta dish looks fantastic!

Brownieville Girl said...

I think your addition of spinich was a great idea - that bit of colour makes all the difference.

Pam said...

This looks really delicious! I have roasted fennel and love the taste of it so must try this. I just bought Bittmans' How to Cook Everything. He definitely has some great recipes. Thanks for this one!

teresa said...

mmm, i could practically smell this as i read the recipe, how yummy!

The Blonde Duck said...

Have you seen Rocco De Spirito's cookbook?

Monet said...

I have only heard good things about his cookbook, and I can't wait to look through it myself. This pasta looks delicious! I hope you have a wonderful evening and weekend my friend. Thank you for sharing another delicious meal with me. Many blessings as the days unfold!

Kristen said...

I really enjoy the anise-y flavor of fennel. This sounds like a super meal.

girlichef said...

Great pasta dish! I like the addition of chicken sausage...I would've thrown fennel seeds in there to compliment the fennel, too. Of course, I am a bit obsessed with fennel seeds, so it's probably just me ;) Lovely!

Chris said...

I need to try fennel again. I had it for the first time in March at Craft Steak in Vegas and was not impressed. I just didn't like the flavor although I like using fennel seed in things.