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Fusilli with braised fennel, carrots and spring onions

  • 30 minutes
  • First Courses
This simple and light pasta recipe includes some of the most typical Mediterranean vegetables.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ¾ lb fusilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ lb fennel
  • 3 ½ oz carrot
  • 7 oz spring onions
  • 3 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fennel frawns, chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Slice the fennel bulbs in half, then into thin slices. Peel the carrot and slice into rounds, 1/8th inch wide. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and slice the onion into ¼ inch pieces.

Then in a fairly large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Once hot, add the minced garlic. Once the garlic begins to golden, add the fennel and carrot and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir from time to time.

Then add the onion to the previously cooked vegetables and cook for another 3 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Drain after the time indicated on the bow and toss with the sauce.

Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano and garnish with the fennel fronds before serving.

Food History

The carrot probably comes from ancient Afghanistan. There are signs that men had learned to cultivate this vegetable dating back thousands of years.  Even if the ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the carrot, it seems as though it was consumed more as an aphrodisiac or for its medicinal value than as a culinary ingredient. A known diuretic and aide for stomach pain, carrots were believed to increase a man’s sexual drive and to improve fertility in woman. Pliny the Elder suggested using them to make love potions.
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that carrots became sweeter and more tender, making them more appealing as an ingredient in the kitchen. In the 16th century in England, during the reign of King James I, carrots were used more for their ornamental value than their flavor, while in Italy they were not consumed as food until the 18th century.

Did you known that...

Not that long ago, carrots were violet or white in color rather than characteristically orange? In the 18th century, Dutch agronomists were able to grow orange carrots using seeds from Northern Africa.

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