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MACARONI WITH FENNEL FRONDS HAZELNUT PESTO


WHITE AND BLUE BOWL OF PASTA WITH FENNEL PESTO AND OLD WOODEN BACKGROUND, YELLOW TABLECLOTH



I know...you probably are wondering how come a pesto with fennel fronds? We all are very familiar with the classic Italian pesto that has basil, olive oil and pine nuts but there are also many other types such as the Sicilian pesto rosso that has sun-dried tomatoes and some other variants. There are great other yummy combinations that are so versatile to use in other dishes apart from pasta, like grilled veggies, salads...
I actually shared this other recipe a while ago, a red walnut pesto that I love and is one of my favourites. 

When I buy my veggies on Sunday's market they normally ask if you want theM to cut and remove the stems of the carrots, fennel, beetroots... but I always ask to keep them. Sometimes they actually tell people they are edible and very good, that's actually how I learned not long ago that the leaves from the turnips are very good in soups and stews so now I always use them too. Other leaves like those of the carrots have a parsley-like flavour that are very good both eaten raw or cooked. In this other post I already talked a bit about the beetroot leaves and mentioned the fennel ones.

WHITE AND BLUE BOWL OF PASTA WITH FENNEL PESTO AND OLD WOODEN BACKGROUND, YELLOW TABLECLOTH, BOTTLE OF OLIVE OIL


The whole fennel from top to bottom have many health benefits and can help a lot with digestion. It is carminative, which means it avoids flatulence and also relieves its annoying symptoms. The fronds apart from being a fantastic aromatic herb that can be used both fresh and dry, are also considered medicinal since they can be used along with their seeds as a herbal tea to relieve intestinal discomfort, heavy digestions and also to alleviate the pressure in the pit of the stomach...
It is also recommended to add a bit of fennel on stews and other dishes with legumes to help digestion. It's delicious both cooked or raw, a way I particularly love eating it.


Last time I bought fennel it had a huge bulb but also enormous fronds, and when I say that I mean massive. Plenty of beautiful and intense green leaves that I wanted to make use of with something different from salads as I tend to do. I decided to combine it with hazelnuts rather than with the classic pine nuts or walnuts.

So this is what I call a zero wastage recipe as we will be using the whole fennel. The bulb and thicker stalks will be cooked and the fronds will be used to elaborate the pesto.
I used red lentil macaroni but that's up to you, same as the mushrooms, use the ones you prefer. 

Let's start with the recipe!
PINK HIMALAYAN SALT, GREEN PEPPER AND PESTO IN WHITE LITTLE BOWLS OVER OLD WOODEN BACKGROUND



MACARONI WITH FENNEL FRONDS AND HAZELNUT PESTO

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto


  • 100 gr. roasted hazelnuts
  • Fennel fronds
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt 
  • Grounded green pepper 
  • Water 
For the sauté
  • Fennel stalks 
  • 1 leek
  • Mushrooms of your choice 
  • 3 black garlics 
  • Optional: nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • Pasta of your choice, cooked in advance 
WHITE AND BLUE BOWL OF PASTA WITH FENNEL PESTO AND OLD WOODEN BACKGROUND, YELLOW TABLECLOTH

ELABORATION

  1. We start making the pesto, using a powerful blender or food processor.
  2. Grind the hazelnuts until thin then add the fennel fronds and the lemon juice and blend at high speed, adding a bit of water  gradually to facilitate it.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and ad 2-3 Tbsp olive oil or more if you like it oily. Blend at medium speed to emulsify and done.
  4. Chop the stalks and the leek then add to a pan with some oil and sauté with the black garlic and the mushrooms until golden.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and use the amount of pesto of your taste, mix all well and it's ready to eat.
WHITE AND BLUE BOWL OF PASTA WITH FENNEL PESTO AND OLD WOODEN BACKGROUND, YELLOW TABLECLOTH, CERAMIC OLIVE OIL BOTTLE

WHITE AND BLUE BOWL OF PASTA WITH FENNEL PESTO AND OLD WOODEN BACKGROUND, YELLOW TABLECLOTH

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