Fennel, Onion and Pine Nut Spaghetti

Earlier this year a monthly market started up in the North Kessock village hall.   It’s comprised of only eight, maybe ten stalls at the moment but the selection of local veg, eggs, meat, baked goods and preserves is really very exciting indeed.

Along with the duck legs, cinnamon raisin bread, parsnips and cabbage that I picked up on my last visit, I also bought a couple of enormous fennel bulbs.  Slightly confused as to how fennel can be grown locally at this time of year and wishing I’d asked the stall holder about it now but well, well – they were delicious.  Made them the star of the show in two meals that week.  This was the first:

Fennel, Onion and Pine Nut Spaghetti

(serves 2)

2 heaped tablespoons breadcrumbs (I used rye in the photo above but any type will do)

1 chubby garlic clove, chopped finely

Pinch of chilli flakes

1 tblpsn chopped parsley leaves

Finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon

Olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 fennel bulb, fronds removed and reserved – bulb halved and sliced

50g pine nuts

30g raisins

Juice of half a lemon

150g spaghetti

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the breadcrumbs, garlic and chilli flakes and fry until breadcrumbs crisp up.  Remove from pan and mix with the lemon rind, parsley and any fronds from the fennel.
  • Add a little more oil to the frying pan along with the onion, fennel slices, pine nuts and raisins.  Cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft and beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salted water.
  • Drain spaghetti and stir into the fennel mixture along with the lemon juice.
  • Serve topped with the breadcrumb mixture.