The trees are burnished gold against the darkening twilight and your cheeks are pink in the cooling air as you hurry home. Autumn is here and you’re hungry for something seasonal, something quick and something that makes you feel good.
This fettuccine dish plays off one of autumn’s most versatile and delicious veggies – the gorgeous fennel. To be strictly accurate, fennel, native to the shores of the Mediterranean, is actually a herb. The thick, white green bulb (actually the base of the ‘leaf’) is a comforting shape in your hand, the long cylindrical stems are glossy and polished and (if you’re lucky enough to have a nice fresh specimen) the feathery leaves wave gracefully from the ends of the proud stems. Fennel has a very mild, sweet and pleasant aniseed flavour – not strong like licorice but more of a fresh, aromatic flavour.
This recipe is also super quick to make – you can have it on the table in 15 minutes – less time than it takes to order and wait for most takeaway.
Fettuccine with orange and fennel
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 hungry people
Vegan, low fat and cheap to make
400 grams of dry fettuccine (or about 500 fresh)
one bulb of fresh fennel
one thumb of fresh ginger
two cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of yeast flakes*
olive oil, salt and pepper
Put a large pot of water on to boil (big enough that your pasta will have plenty of room to swim around).
While waiting for your water to come to the boil start to prepare your sauce ingredients: finely chop your garlic and ginger, use a fine grater to grate the rind off your orange and use a wide peeler or a sharp knife to shave the fennel into almost paper thin slices.
Once the water is boiling add some salt (a big pinch) and pop in your pasta. Let it cook at a low boil with the lid of the pot removed. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente (this should give you enough time to finish copping and grating!).
When the pasta is just about done turn your oven onto medium and pop in your serving bowls – then remove the pasta water, reserving a cup.
Return the pasta to a low heat and toss in all the ingredients except for the yeast flakes and including a good glug of oil and a few goid – gently mix. Add a little of the reserved water until the pasta is glossy (about a quarter of a cup).
Take out your warmed plates and serve your yummy pasta with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, a swirl of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
*nutritional yeast flakes – a tasty alternative to cheese – not to be confused with the yeast you bake with!
All the pretty pictures in this post are by the talented Peter Foote, a Sydney based photographer.
Really hope you enjoy this meal – let me know in the comments or on instagram (#melissamieow) how you go xx