Pasta with Fennel, Tomatoes, Olives and Shrimp
This innovative pasta dish starts with a quick shrimp and fennel stew, which is enhanced with fragrant fennel seeds and shiny black Kalamata olives. Start the meal with a salad of purchased roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella and herbs.
- 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise, fronds chopped and reserved
- 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- Large pinch of red pepper flakes
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 can (14.28 oz.) Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
- 3 Tbs. dry white wine
- 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 7 to 8 oz. spaghetti, preferably multigrain
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the fennel seeds and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the fennel bulb, onion and red pepper flakes, and season with salt and black pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the fennel and onion are tender and browning on the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives and wine. Simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer until they are just opaque at the center, about 5 minutes; do not overcook.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.
Drain the pasta, add to the shrimp sauce and stir to coat the pasta. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper, and sprinkle with the fennel fronds. Transfer to a large warmed bowl and serve immediately. Serves 2.
Quick tips: Keep Kalamata olives on hand in the refrigerator to add zest to pastas and salads. American shrimp are delicious and are a sustainable seafood choice.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).