Fennel adds verve–and a taste of Mediterranean sunshine–to this meatless winter dish. The fennel mellows with cooking.
• 2 tablespoons raisins
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 2 cups canned plum tomatoes
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 cup minced onion
• 4 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup pine nuts
• 2 or 3 bay leaves
• 1/2 to 1 cup minced fresh fennel tops (leafy portions and thin stems)
• 1 pound dried fusilli or other corkscrew pasta
1. Steep the raisins in the wine until soft. In a blender, puree them with the tomatoes and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the pine nuts and sauté for 1 minute, then add the tomato mixture and bay leaves and heat to simmering.
3. Bring a big pot of water to the boil and stir in the pasta. Stir the fennel into the sauce.
4. Boil the pasta for 7 to 11 minutes or al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss it with the remaining tablespoons of oil.
5. Remove the bay leaves and toss the sauce with the pasta.
6. Serve immediately.
Click here for the original article, Five Spring Recipes.
Writer and chef Cornelia Carlson tends an herb garden in Tucson, Arizona.