Sweet roasted fennel, paired with a subtle bite of lemon and a salty pangrattao. All served with a rich creamy linguine. This is the perfect mid-week meal, but it is beautiful enough for company, especially as it is vegetarian! And packed with so much flavour!
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1tablespoonfresh oregano(or 1 teaspoon dried)
pinch ground fennel
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375 º F.
Pick off the fennel fronds (they make a great garnish) and the cut off and discard the fennel stems.
Cut the fennel in half, then quarters and cut each quarter in half lengthways. Leaving you with 8 wedges of fennel per bulb.
Arrange the fennel slices in a single layer in a large baking dish and then drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then turn them over a couple of times to ensure they are well covered.
Bake for 20 minutes until soft and caramelised. Set aside
Peel and finely chop the garlic and shallots.
Place the butter in a cold frying pan, melt gently then add the garlic and shallots, cook over a low eat until soft. Add in the fresh oregano, the zest of the lemon and breadcrumbs.
Stir the mixture well and cook until the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden.
Season generous with salt and pepper and then tip the pangrattato mixture into a small bowl (see notes)
Place a pan of water over a high heat and once it comes to the boil, salt it generously and add your linguine. Give it a stir to separate the strands and set your timer (set it for a minute less than the packet suggests)
Pour your cream into the frying pan, sprinkle over the ground fennel and season the cream with salt and pepper. Once hot, add in the caramelised fennel and set over a low heat.
Once the timer goes, check your pasta. It should be just al dente. (If you like it cooked more give it another minute)
Take a ¼ cup of the pasta water and add it to your sauce, then drain the pasta (reserve another ½ cup of the water).
Add the linguine to the sauce and turn to coat. Add more pasta water if needed.
Serve with a wedge of lemon, a good sprinkling of the pangrattato and a few of the fennel fronds (or some fresh oregano)
Remove the breadcrumbs from the pan as soon as they are ready, otherwise the residual heat will burn the crumb (Plus then you can use the same pan for the sauce! Less washing up - WINNER!!!)