Summer Fennel and Zucchini Pasta
Wow, it has been a hot minute since I have posted a recipe to this blog, apologies for my absence I have been busy growing and birthing a human, who arrived safely on the 22nd of December 2019 – I’ll save the birth story for another post!
So apparently looking after a tiny helpless person leaves little time for creativity in the kitchen, and when you do get a small snippet of time, mum brain kicks in and it’s like all knowledge and ideas go out the window and you’ve never picked up a pan before. Even with this unfortunate side effect of motherhood, I would’t trade it for anything, I’ve never experienced a love like this and honestly I could spend all my days just watching him experience the world!
It has taken seven weeks for me to get in the kitchen and create a recipe, and actually this recipe wasn’t something I planned out in advance, it was a Friday night, hot and humid weather so I didn’t want to turn the oven on and therefore decided to come up with something I could cook solely on the stove. I had two bulbs of fennel in the fridge (we love fennel in this house) some cloves of garlic, a lonely zucchini, some wilting spinach leaves, fresh basil and lemon from the garden and some tomatoes that were going a little soft. This random assortment of ingredients coupled with some pantry staples eventuated into a delicious summer pasta that I shared to my Instagram story (see images below) and received quite a few messages about so I decided to officially add it to the blog.
This pasta is the perfect dinner for a summer evening that you can whip up in less than forty minutes making use of fresh and in season produce. If you do try this recipe, please let me know how you liked it, I would love to see your take on it!
Until next time (hopefully that is sooner rather than later) stay well, eat good food in good company and be happy!
Summer Fennel and Zucchini Pasta
A delicious and simple summer pasta recipe using in season produce and fresh ingredients, perfect for an easy lunch or dinner!
- 1 500g packet of organic pasta I used spirals
- 5-6 medium tomatoes chopped
- 2 bulbs fennel topped, cored and sliced into wedges
- 1 medium zucchini diced into 1-2cm pieces
- 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 whole lemon
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves (reserve some for serving)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 4-5 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
- 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all vegetables as per ingredient list above, make sure to reserve some 'hair' from the fennel tops for serving
In a large heavy based pan (I used a cast iron pan, they are amazing!) heat two tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat, add in the wedges of fennel and the garlic cloves
Cook for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally until each side is golden brown and caramelised
Meanwhile, add a pot of water to the stove and bring to the boil (for the pasta)
Heat a small pan over a medium heat and add pine nuts, gently stiring for about a minute until lightly toasted, remove from pan immediately to prevent further cooking and set aside
Once the fennel and garlic have caremalised, remove from pan and set aside
In the same large pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the chopped tomatoes and white wine stir well to combine
Mince or finely chop the caremalised garlic cloves and add to the pan along with some torn fresh basil leaves and the tomato paste
Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and allow to cook until the tomatoes are soft and have lost their shape (about 5-10 minutes)
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to packet instructions, do not overcook pasta as you will be adding it to the sauce
Once the tomatoes are soft, use the back of a wooden spoon (or even a potato masher) to mush the tomatoes into a sauce, add a little water if needed
Add the diced zucchini to the pan and continue to cook stirring occasionaly until the zucchini is soft (5-10 minutes)
Once zucchini is cooked through, taste sauce and season with salt and pepper as desired
Once pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato sauce along with the spinach, stir through until pasta is well coated and spinach is wilted
Serve pasta in bowls topped with caremalised fennel wedges, toasted pine nuts, torn basil leaves, fennel hair, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.