One-pot fennel, lemon and mint spaghetti
This recipe is from Alan Rosenthal's new book, Foolproof One-Pot. Alan is a local chef, food writer, caterer and teacher who creates delicious and imaginative dishes with his weekly Crop Drop veg bag. Find out more about him and his recipes on his website or follow him on Instagram.
Photo by Rita Platts @ritaplattsphoto
This is a one-pot pasta that’s so quick and easy you’ll be amazed! Use a wide shallow casserole pot for this recipe to not only ensure that the pasta fits but that there’s enough evaporation to produce the right sauce consistency.
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 heads of fennel, finely sliced (about 250g)
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
350g dried spaghetti
75g grated Parmesan
8 tbsp finely sliced mint
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in your wide shallow pot. Add the sliced onion and fennel to the pot and cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until just starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, turning so that everything cooks evenly. Add 1.1 litres cold water, 2 tsp salt and a generous grind of black pepper and give everything a good stir. Now add the spaghetti, turn the heat up and bring to the boil. Initially the pasta will only just fit in the middle of the pot - it will soon soften up.
Using tongs, regularly move the pasta around to ensure the strands don’t stick together. Once boiling, turn the heat down slightly but continue to allow it to boil enthusiastically. At this stage, you’re trying to evaporate some of the water while allowing the pasta to absorb much of the remaining liquid and to cook through. Boil for around 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente, regularly mixing and turning to ensure even cooking and prevent clumping.
After 10 minutes the liquid will have reduced and the pasta will be cooked. Turn the heat off and allow it to sit for 2 minutes. Now stir in the grated Parmesan, the mint and the lemon zest and juice to produce a creamy sauce that clings to the pasta. Toss through some more freshly ground black pepper and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if you feel it needs it. Serve with more Parmesan, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Note - The sauce will thicken up the longer you leave it, so don’t leave it for too long once you’re ready to serve.