Fusilli Pasta with Spring and Fresh Fennel

Fennel is an aromatic flowering plant of Italian origin and has a slight flavour of Licorice (aniseed). It is cooked somewhat like celery and is widely used to flavour a great many dishes. Try this one with fusilli and shrimp.

¼ cup (50 mL) Italpasta extra virgin olive oil
5cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
3 cups (750 mL) fresh fennel, tops removed, and bulbs sliced very thinly
lengthwise
¼ cup (50 mL) water
5ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced ¼ inch
1 ½ lbmedium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh marjoram, chopped or 1 tsp (10 mL) dried marjoram
¼ tsp. (1 ml) salt
pinch black pepper, freshly ground
1 lbItalpasta fusilli

Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a boil.

In the meantime, put the oil in a large skillet and, over medium heat, sauté the garlic until it is sizzling but not browned. Stir in the fennel so that it is well coated with oil. Add ¼ cup of water, turn the heat down, and cook semi-covered for about 5 minutes or until the fennel is tender.

Remove the lid and stir in the diced tomatoes and simmer until any extra liquid has evaporated.

Add the shrimp and the marjoram to the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 2 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the pasta.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook al dente. Drain well then return the seafood to the stove and add the pasta. Toss or stir well and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe compliments of Italpasta