This Fennel Frond Pesto Pasta is now on my go to list of quick dinners to put together. It actually took less than 15 minutes from start to finish! Of course the pasta was a quick cooking one, and the home made pesto was already available, but still its lovely to be able to put together a delicious meal with such little effort! Making the pesto would have taken another 10 minutes or so.
I had this box of fettucine shaped into little rolls of ribbon, and I thought they would go well with a fresh pesto. The Fennel which had been delivered recently by First Agro Farms (zero pesticide vegetables and greens supplied right to my door) had an abundant head of fronds. More like a bush than a head, actually. I had used most of the fronds to make 2 jars of pesto, with pine nuts and with my homemade basil oil. You can imagine the flavours – basil, olive oil, fennel, pine nuts, all worked together into a unique taste. Making Fennel Frond Pesto Pasta was naturally the next step.
You could of course make this Fennel Frond Pesto pasta with penne or any other pasta, and substitute the fennel frond pesto for another of your choice. Or throw in some sun dried tomato or sauté mushrooms instead of the zucchini. Add chilli flakes in the end. The pasta would adapt to all this. I would suggest however that less is more in this case, let the pesto rule, and any other ingredient be added only to give another texture to the dish.
As I have said in the recipe below, start the pasta cooking in its pot, and while it is boiling away, quickly put together all the other ingredients, so that everything is ready by the time you have drained the cooked pasta, and you just have to toss it all together.If you are making pesto afresh, add 5 – 10 minutes to the time required.
Here are the links to my recipes on this blog, for Fennel Frond Pesto and for Home made Basil oil. The Basil oil was used in making the pesto. If you want to use a simple basil pesto, I have given the link for that too!
Fennel Frond Pesto in Basil Oil
Fragrant Home made Basil Oil
Pesto of Purple Basil, Pine nuts & Parmesan