Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

Spring is starting to bloom and I am waiting eagerly for the farmer’s markets to start opening in Charleston. It has been a long winter, well not really, I live in the sunny South, but I am growing tired of supermarket produce and the high prices for organic. I also don’t eat as seasonally when I am dependent on the grocery store for my veggies. Tomatoes in winter? Terrible, but I buy them, because there they are. I’m putting pennies aside for a spring CSA and look forward to making a pilgrimage to the Marion Square Market every Saturday morning.

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into slivers
  • ½ cup fennel fronds from fennel bulb
  • 1 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ lb penne rigate
  • grated parmigiano reggiano, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°. Wash and halve the tomatoes before tossing them on a baking sheet with 1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast the tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have shriveled and browned a bit.

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add the fennel, sauté for a few minutes until they start to cook, add the roasted tomatoes after a few minutes.

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.

Add the fennel fronds off of the heat. Serve immediately with grated parmigiano reggiano.

Two Years Ago: Farfalle with Salmon and Fennel, Soba Noodles With Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms & Broccoli & Pesto

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~ by italicious on March 11, 2011.

2 Responses to “Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel”

  1. Thank God for cherry tomatoes! They’re usually the only ones with real flavor, even in the summer… On the other hand, I bought some strawberries last week, thinking that I would be a jump start on spring. Big mistake… 😦

  2. Elegant in its simplicity, looks delicious, and very appealing photos. What wine do you suggest?

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