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Pasta with Artichokes, Fennel and Onions

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-32Sometimes, I like challenging myself to play the “pantry game”. I like to spend at least one week per month, not buying anything new, but using up whatever I have. This can seem a little bit depressing, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s actually a lot of fun to see how creative and resourceful you can be. The trick to saving money on groceries is to have fewer trips to the grocery store. Not only will you save money, but you will also save so much time. With a well stocked refrigerator, freezer and pantry, you can go for a few weeks without having to go to the grocery store, as long as you plan well. One of my favorite tricks is to use up perishable ingredients first, leaving the ingredients that will stay fresh longer to be used during the later weeks. You can cook many delicious dinners that will not make you feel as poor as a church mouse. You can create many ingenious dinners that taste really fresh and even gourmet.

I’m always well stocked up on pasta of all shapes and sizes. Adding vegetables to a pasta dish is a very easy way to make it more interesting and add lots of flavor. You can keep canned baby artichokes in your pantry for dinners just like this one, or you can even use frozen artichokes instead. Fennel, onions and garlic are pantry ingredients that will stay good for weeks without spoiling, so they are the perfect ingredients to add fresh flavor.

Roasting vegetables gives them such a great caramelized and savory taste. Adding the roasted vegetables along with all the aromatics to the pasta creates a really memorable meal that even looks and tastes fancy. Crunchy and golden breadcrumbs add even more interesting taste and texture and fresh herbs is another trick that I like to use to make any dish fresh. Do you want to know how to store fresh herbs so they will last longer? I’ve got you covered.

Ever since I had the baby and we came back home from the hospital, I’ve not been feeling well enough to leave the house much. Besides, all my tubes, IVs and other medical equipment make it extra difficult. My husband does almost all the grocery shopping and I’ve only been to a grocery store once, which I deeply regretted on the way home:). Meals like this one are especially appreciated during times like this. Even when I’m perfectly healthy, meals like this are very convenient for unexpected company, extra busy times or when you just don’t have the energy for something really time consuming. 

Ingredients:

1 fennel bulb, sliced and some of the fronds reserved for garnishing

1 (14 oz) can baby artichokes, drained and cut in half

1 -2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for the breadcrumbs

1 Tablespoon butter

1 onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup chicken broth

8-10 oz pasta

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-18Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top portion of the fennel  bulb. Save some of the fronds to be used as a garnish at the end of cooking, Fennel fronds can be used just like other fresh herbs. Cut the bulb in half and slice. Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-19Gently toss the sliced fennel bulb and the baby artichokes with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-20Roast in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-26Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta. Cook the pasta so that it’s slightly less done than how you like it, because it will finish cooking in the sauce.

In a large skillet, toast the breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon of oil until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-21Wipe out the skillet, heat another Tablespoon of oil or butter on medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and starting to turn golden. Add the minced garlic to the center of the skillet and cook for another 30 seconds-1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-23

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-24Pour in the broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to release any fond.

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-25Bring to a boil and cook on high heat until the liquid has reduced by half.  Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-28You can finish the sauce with some lemon juice or vinegar. Add the roasted fennel and artichokes to the skillet. Be very gently when mixing the vegetables, since the artichokes are very delicate.

Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-29Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and very gently toss with the sauce. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water, 1/2 – 1 cup. As you are mixing the pasta with the vegetables, add some of the reserved pasta water, if you think it needs to be loosened up a bit. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and fennel fronds and sprinkle generously with the toasted breadcrumbs. You can also add some finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

You can easily make this into an entree by adding some chicken to this dish.Fennel and Artichoke Pasta-1-32

Pasta with Artichokes, Fennel and Onions
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced and some of the fronds reserved for garnishing
  • 1 (14 oz) can baby artichokes, drained and cut in half
  • 1 -2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for the breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 8-10 oz pasta
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently toss the sliced fennel bulb and the baby artichokes with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta. Cook the pasta so that it's slightly less done than how you like it, because it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  3. In a large skillet, toast the breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon of oil until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Wipe out the skillet, heat another Tablespoon of oil or butter on medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and tender. Add the minced garlic to the center of the skillet and cook for another 30 seconds-1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant, but not golden.
  5. Pour in the broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet to release any fond.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook on high heat until the liquid has reduced by half. You can finish the sauce with some lemon juice or vinegar. Add the roasted fennel and artichokes to the skillet. Be very gently when mixing the vegetables, since the artichokes are very delicate.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and very gently toss with the sauce. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water, ½ - 1 cup. As you are mixing the pasta with the vegetables, add some of the reserved pasta water, if you think it needs to be loosened up a bit. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and fennel fronds and sprinkle generously with the toasted breadcrumbs. You can also add some finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
  8. You can easily make this into an entree by adding some chicken to this dish.

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