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Monday, January 7, 2013

Fennel Ricotta Rigatoni

A creamy ricotta cheese sauce with strong overtones of fresh fennel and Italian parsley, served on a bed of thick rigatoni noodles.

Few dishes could compare, in my opinion.

This would be in the running for one of my favourite concoctions.

Anyway - we still had company from the holidays, and we had decided to spend the entire day out walking in the park.  It was a really cold, crisp, wintry day, and when we finally arrived home for the evening, we wanted something warm and filling, but quick and easy also.

So, after uncorking a nice dark pinot noir, I made this Fennel Ricotta Rigatoni.

I didn't take many photos of the preparation of this dish, perhaps because it was similar to oh so many other cream pastas I've shown here on this blog before, or perhaps because I was more into the pinot than I thought.  In any case, however, I prepared this dish much the same as I do many other pastas.

That is, sautee some root veggies (onion, garlic in some olive oil) with the notable addition of diced fennel root in this case (a large amount, as fennel can be surprisingly mild in flavour, and when using as a dominant flavour, feel free to go big).  Then, once sauteed, pour in some milk, simmer for a few minutes, add some cheese (ricotta), some herbs/spices (some chopped parsley, a dash of black pepper, and a pinch of salt).  Stir, maybe add a thickener (some pre-mixed corn starch).  Drain your cooked pasta, but then dump everything back into the cooking pot and stir.  Let that acclimate on low heat for a few minutes and then serve!


Anyway, I steamed up some asparagus, and then tossed them in the pan which had held the sauce.  That got them nice and creamy-coated.

Then I plated the whole pasta into a large serving dish, and we went to town!

The meal only took me about 30 minutes from start to finish which was good because we were tired and hungry!