Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fennel, Pepper and Onion Fusilli

Wednesday's meal was another Rachel Ray recipe. This was, again, fast, easy and very tasty. Rach has a bit of portion distortion, however, as this recipe says that it serves 4, but it really serves 8. One pound of pasta for four people? Yikes! That's fine by me, however, as it leaves us a lot of leftovers! There is no meat in this, but you don't miss it. The fennel seed and fennel give the illusion of Italian sausage, and after pairing this pasta with a spinach salad, I'm quite full. Yum.

Fennel, Pepper and Onion Fusilli

1 lb. fusilli pasta (corkscrew)
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored and sliced
1 onion, quartered, lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1 cubanelle pepper, halved, seeded and sliced (I didn't have a cubanelle, so I used a red bell pepper)
3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup torn basil
Grated Parm for topping

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.

2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat 2 tbs olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the fennel seeds for 1 minute. Add the fennel, onion, pepper and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water.

3. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Toss with cheese.

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