Fennel seed is a wonderful seasoning for a range of dishes, you can sprinkle the seeds on chicken along with orange juice and olives for a delicious main dish. It is native to the Mediterranean and is now grown in many parts of the world including China and India. It is sometimes referred to as sweet cumin or large cumin this is due to its resemblance to cumin seed. Fennel seeds can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from pasta to barbeque, to salads, you can never go wrong with a little of fennel seeds in your dish.
With its flavor taste and beautiful aroma, fennel seeds are mostly used by many. So try this Fennel and Fennel Seed Pasta.
- 1/2 lb spaghetti or other long noodles
- 1 bulb fennel
- 2 to 3 cloves of garllic
- 1/4 tsp red chile flakes (or 1 small red or green chile)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1/2 cup white wine or broth
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until it's just barely tender to the bite (it will cook a bit more in the sauce, so leave yourself some wiggle room). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before you drain the noodles.
- While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, prep the other ingredients. Halve the fennel bulb and thinly slice it. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. If using a fresh chile, remove the stem and seed and thinly slice it. Crush the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle or put them in a small resealable plastic bag and smash them with the bottom of a heavy frying pan. Mince the parsley.
- Heath the oil in a large frying, saute pan, or the pasta pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it just starts to turn golden and barely brown at the edges. Add the chile flakes or fresh chile, stir to combine with the garlic. Add the fennel, fennel seeds, and 1/2 tsp of the salt and cook, stirring, until the fennel softens a bit, about two minutes. Add the wine or broth, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until fennel is quite tended, about five minutes.
- Add the parsley, stir to combine. Add the drained pasta and the reserved pasta liquid, stir and toss to combine everything. Increase the heat and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and evaporated, and all the flavors have combined, two to three minutes.
- Serve with plenty of Parmesan, Pecorino, or whatever hard cheese you like on top of your pasta.