Posted by / Monday, June 10, 2013

Bucatini, Fennel & Fresh Shaved Parmesan in a Light Cream Sauce

I have cooked with fennel several times and have posted about how much I enjoy incorporating it into meals here on the blog — before today's recipe, my two favorites were a simple grilled fennel and an amazing fennel, garlic, and potato soup. Today's fennel pasta dish surpassed both of the previous recipes in my book!

Ingredients: (recipe for two)
  • 8 ounces dried bucatini pasta (half of a box)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (reserve fronds), bulb cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic scape, diced (clove of garlic is ok to use)
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1t crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh parmesan reggiano
  • Salt to taste
First, let's discuss two ingredients: 

1. Garlic scapes. I received mine in the Farm Table box and they have a very short season but that season is now. When you slice the end of the scape, you get little pieces that have a nice garlicky flavor and aren't overpowering. Snatch these up while in season and they are great to freeze for use later. You may use these to garnish and sprinkle on soups, use in dressings, and make a pesto.

2. Bucatini — a fun thick pasta that I have been cooking with of late, including this bucatini with prosciutto, asparagus, and lemon. This noodle takes a little longer to cook, but well worth the wait in my opinion.

Ok, back to the recipe. Start a pot of salted boiling water for the pasta. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the fennel and onion, cooking until soft (5-7 minutes) then add garlic scapes, crushed red pepper and stir for 1 minute. Mix in cream and simmer until reduced:

Drain pasta,* adding directly to the pan and toss to coat, adding salt as desired for taste:

*E.A.T. tip: Always reserve a cup of the pasta water in case you ever need to thin the sauce of your pasta.

Plate creamy pasta and shave several slices of the fresh parmesan reggiano on top:

Sprinkle some of the reserved fronds on top and enjoy! 

If you look closely you will see some of those garlic scapes coating some of the noodles. As I said, you can sub garlic but the scapes really makes this dish!

E.A.T. local E.A.T. well


  1. I love fennel and decided to make this meal without those expensive looking scape things. Then I went to the farmer's market - scapes *everywhere*. I got a bunch for $1 and they are currently making a weirdly wonderful center piece! Quick question: as well as using the little seeds do I actually dice one whole scape up, like the green stem?

    Excited to use this new ingredient!

    1. Hey Willow thanks for the question I should clarify this in the post. I just used the 1 pod right at the end and not the stem. As I wrote in the post you can freeze these for use later but I like the idea of a center piece!

      Let me know how you like the dish!


"Some people eat to live; I live to eat." -Tim Vidra

An avid home cook, I believe in using simple ingredients, local when possible and am inspired by the principles of supporting a sustainable food system. I’ve cultivated this blog as a way to share my passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in.



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