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Caramelized Fennel and Onion Pasta

This is an easy dish to make with fennel. If you want to add protein to the dish, Italian sausage or sardines are great options to compliment the fennel. The fennel and onion mixture caramelizes in the time it takes to bring water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb pasta, preferably penne
  • Zest from one lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste (instead of pepper, you can also use red chile flakes)
  • Fennel fronds, roughly chopped, to garnish


Put large pot of salted water on to boil, for pasta. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Stir in onion and fennel and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. When pasta is almost cooked through, fennel mixture should be turning a nice golden brown. Drain al dente pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add pasta and water to skillet with fennel mixture. Add lemon zest and juice. Stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: instead of pasta, you can use cooked black or pinto beans.

Submitted by Sara Jones, Tucson CSA