Fennel gives this dish an anise or licorice flavor. It’s a large white bulb with celerylike stems and green, feathery leaves. The leaves and fennel seeds add another layer of flavor to the dish. Toasting the walnuts intensifies the walnuts flavor.
— Any type of whole wheat pasta can be used.
— Walnuts can be toasted in a toaster oven or under the broiler.
— Snip the fennel leaves from the fennel stems with a scissors.
— Place water for pasta on to boil.
— Prepare ingredients.
— Cook pasta.
— Complete recipe.
To buy: 1 small package broken walnuts, 1 fennel bulb, 1 bottle fennel seeds, 1 can reduced-sodium diced tomatoes and 1 package whole wheat spaghetti.
Staples: olive oil, onion, minced garlic, salt and black peppercorns.
WALNUT AND FENNEL PASTA
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer
1/2 cup walnuts
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
1 1/2 cups fennel cubes
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups canned, reduced-sodium diced tomatoes
1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fennel leaves
Place a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts water on to boil for spaghetti. Coarsely chop walnuts and toast them for 1 to 2 minutes. Watch to make sure they do not burn. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and onion. Saute 5 minutes stirring or until onion turns golden. Recued heat to medium and add the garlic and fennel seeds and saute another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, as soon as the water comes to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti and cook 8 to 9 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and add to the skillet. Add the remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Sprinkle walnuts and fennel leaves on top. Divide between 2 dinner plates.
Yield 2 servings.
Per serving: 630 calories (50 percent from fat), 34.9 g fat (3.4 g saturated, 11.9 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 19.9 g protein, 70.7 g carbohydrates, 16.4 g fiber, 67 mg sodium
(Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.)
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