Pennette Con Finocchietto Selvatico (Penne with Wild Fennel)

PennetteLast Sunday Naomi’s parents, Angelo and Maria, had us over for lunch (pranzo). It was delicious! I especially enjoyed the pasta. Maria graciously wrote down her recipe and gave me permission to share it with you here. The recipe makes 4 servings.

Clean and wash 3 bunches of fennel (Angelo tells me it is not fennel you find in the store but it grows wild out in the countryside. I have no idea what the closest equivalent is in the States but if anyone knows of a store that carries something similar, please share by leaving a comment below!). Boil the fennel for about 20 minutes. Drain the fennel but save the water to cook the pasta in. Cut the fennel into pieces with scissors, 4-5 centimeters long. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan with one minced clove of garlic and two pieces of chopped green onions. Add the fennel once the pan and oil are hot. Add 400 grams of plain tomato sauce and a little bit of the fennel water. In a separate small sauce pan, add and heat enough of the fennel water to cover the bottom of the pan. Add 1/8 of a cup of raisins. When this mixture starts to boil, add it to the fennel/tomato mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and 1/2 a cup of fine bread crumbs. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and stir. Then allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Once the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta. Cook 70 grams of penne pasta per person using the water saved from cooking the fennel. Add sauce to pasta. Top with fine bread crumbs and pecorino cheese and enjoy!

Penne2

The pictures are from the following blog: Gustorie. The site has some great, authentic Italian recipes. You can use google translate to convert the site’s text to English.

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