OMG! This dish is so simple yet the flavors were deliciously complex. I could not stop eating it last night and I will be making it again soon. I think it’s a dish to serve to company, Peter thought otherwise. He said he loved the taste but felt it didn’t have enough substance. MMMMmmmm I thought about that and then decided he wasn’t the person to judge a pasta dish like this one because he would never order a pasta with an alfredo sauce, or spaghetti carbonara, or linguine aglio e olio. For him, pasta has sausage, meatballs or vegetables or clams or mussels.
My cousin Janet (I like to call her Janie) gave me this recipe. When I was making it, I realized that the directions mentioned butter but I hadn’t written butter in the ingredient list – what to do? I went online of course and found a recipe that was almost identical to hers minus the native seasoning, which is a blend of herbs produced by a company founded by her sister (my cousin) and her husband.
Here it is:
1 lb of Farfalle or Penne
A slab of pancetta about 3″ by 1/2″ – diced – you can also buy pancetta already diced in a package
1 bulb of fennel – chopped including fronds
1 TBS dried fennel seeds
1/2 cup of cream or half & half – I used about 3/4 cup
1-2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 onion chopped – I used a whole small one
3 TBS unsalted butter
grated Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Saute pancetta in sweet butter till crisp, add garlic, onion, fennel, fennel seeds to pan. I used a braising pan. Stir frequently till all is soft . Cover pan.
Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss with mixture. Add the cream. Sprinkle liberally with grated cheese.