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Recipe

Pasta with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes

photo: Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

As the fennel and tomatoes roast, their juices mingle to create a luscious sauce. Finocchiona, salami flavored with fennel seeds (finocchio is Italian for fennel), reinforces the fennel flavor of the dish. Look for it in the deli or cheese section of your market.

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 to 2 lb. fennel (1 very large or 2 medium bulbs), trimmed, cored, and sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz. cavatappi, penne, or other short pasta
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup drained and chopped mildly spicy or hot peppers in oil (such as Mama Lil’s brand)
  • 1 oz. thinly sliced finocchiona or other salami, cut into thin strips (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano; more to taste

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 470
      Fat Calories (kcal): 170
      Fat (g): 19
      Saturated Fat (g): 7
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
      Cholesterol (mg): 35
      Sodium (mg): 1030
      Carbohydrates (g): 57
      Fiber (g): 8
      Sugar (g): 9
      Protein (g): 19

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425°F.
  • Toss the fennel with the oil in a 9×13-inch baking dish or similar. Season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with about 2 Tbs. water, and roast, uncovered, until the fennel is soft and starting to brown at the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. At least twice during roasting, stir and toss the fennel to promote even cooking. Scoot the fennel over to one half of the baking dish, and add the tomatoes to the empty space. Season with salt and pepper. Continue roasting, with an occasional stir, until the tomatoes have collapsed and the juices look bubbly and slightly reduced, another 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. When the pasta is done, scoop out 1 cup of the cooking water, and then drain.
  • In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the fennel-tomato mixture, mozzarella, peppers, salami,
    and parsley. Add the cheese and 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and toss well, adding more water as needed until the pasta is very lightly cloaked in a lush sauce and the mozzarella is starting to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with additional grated pecorino, if you like.

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