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Rigatoni with Sun-Dried Tomato and Fennel Sauce

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Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 98

So you couldn't resist buying that big jar of sun-dried tomatoes—but now that you're home, you're not sure what to do with them. No worries. With this tasty creamy sauce with a peppery kick, you'll have no problem using them up.

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (about 1/2 medium bulb)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, very coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, very coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. Pernod (optional)
  • 1 lb. dried rigatoni

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 10- to 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel starts to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and the cream, chicken broth, sun-dried tomatoes, pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer briskly, uncovered, until the tomatoes are plump and soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Pernod, if using. Let cool slightly and then purée in a blender until smooth. Wipe out the skillet, return the sauce to the skillet, season to taste with salt, and keep hot.

Cook the rigatoni until just barely al dente, 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the sauce and toss over medium-low heat for a minute or two so the pasta finishes cooking and absorbs some of the sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Use extra sun-dried tomatoes to make a tangy vinaigrette for your salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 760; Fat (g): fat g 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 300; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 16; Protein (g): protein g 19; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 94; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 720; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 80; Fiber (g): fiber g 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Nice, easy dish. Good flavor but next time, I'd add a bit more red pepper flakes.

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