'Reginette' pasta with wild fennel pesto and dried tomatoes

Friday, June 03, 2016

Pasta with wild fennel pesto and dried tomatoes

In Italian cuisine, pasta with pesto is one of the most well-known, simple and appreciated first course.

Why don’t we play with creativity to make some new and tasty changes?

Wild fennel is a highly aromatic spontaneous plant, it grows especially where the weather is warm, in fact people in the south of Italy make a large use of it.

Its smell reminds us to licorice and it’s possible to use both his leaves and his seeds.

Even if its flavouring has nothing in common with basil’s one, this wild fennel pesto I used for this recipe, turns out to be flavorful and good smelling.

Since it has a delicate taste, I wanted to spice the dish with dried tomatoes that are quite savoury, giving the whole a pleasant contrast.

Reginette pasta with wild fennel pesto and dried tomatoes recipe

Ingredients - serve 4

320 gr of “reginette” (durum wheat semolina pasta)
50 gr of dried tomatoes in oil
4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
1 Chilli pepper
Salt as required
For the wild fennel pesto
50 gr of wild fennel
20 gr of almonds
4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
Salt as required


Rinse the wild fennel, blanch it dipping it in boiling salty water for about half a minute and, right after that, put it in cool water (better add some ice), keep the water where you blanched.

Wring out the wild fennel carefully and put it in hand blender’s jar adding almonds and oil, blend until you obtain a coarse cream, adjust with salt.

Put sliced almonds in a pan on medium/high heat and brown these until they get golden.
Do this by moving continuously the almonds in the pan and paying attention not to burn them.

As soon as they have browned, put the almonds in a dish, ready to add them to your reginette pasta with wild fennel pesto and dried tomatoes.

Cut the dried tomatoes in slices of about half a centimeter.

Peel the garlic cloves and put them in a pan with 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil.

Add the chilli pepper after having crumbled it and having removed all the seeds, add also the dried tomatoes and let brown for quite a minute.

Turn off the stove and remove the garlic cloves.

Add the water you need to the one you used before, in which you blanched the wild fennel. Bring it to the boiling point, adjust with salt and boil your pasta until just firm (“al dente”).

When cooked, toss quickly your reginette in the pan with the dried tomatoes using some cooking water.

Turn off the stove and add the wild fennel pesto, mix well, place in your dishes and sprinkle with your browned sliced almonds.

To garnish my dishes with reginette pasta with wild fennel pesto and dried tomatoes, I made a cream blending 100 gr of little fresh tomatoes sauteed with a little of virgin olive oil and 25 gr of dried tomatoes.

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