Take Your Time

Get a headstart on your immunity boosting for the colder months now by incorporating some fragrant fennel in your meals. There was a time not too long ago when I couldn't stand the taste and smell of fennel. It was that anise/licorice flavor that I find extremely unpalatable, and I know I'm not alone there. But fennel is so diverse and fresh - it can make a summer salad lighter, add dimension to roasted veggies, and the greens work wonders in a dressing. Fennel is not only delicious, it's also packed with health benefits:

  • Great source of antimicrobial vitamin C
  • Good source of fiber, helping to reduce cholesterol
  • Contains decent amounts of folate and potassium, both excellent for heart health

This pasta dish from eat, drink, and be vegan incorporates roasted veggies rather than a traditional sauce, but still manages to be flavorsome enough to compliment any variety of pasta. The toasted pine nuts, capers, and basil leaves add a wonderful Italian-ness at the end. We used a combination of spelt fusilli and conchiglie (baby shells) because that's what we had left over, but feel free to use any type of pasta here.

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

Serves 2; recipe adapted from eat drink & be vegan

The particulars:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10-12 large roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 200g (approx) of dry pasta
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Toss together the olive oil, tomatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, balsamic, oregano and some salt and pepper and spread onto a baking tray. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the tomatoes are softened and the fennel is golden.
  2. During the last 10-15 minutes of roasting, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and toss with the roasted veggies. If pasta seems dry, add a little bit of the pasta water.
  3. Just before serving, stir in the pine nuts, capers, and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper if needed.