Creamy Fennel & Olive Pasta with Fried Rosemary & Walnuts

Creamy Fennel & Olive Pasta

with Fried Rosemary & Walnuts

25 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Northern Italian flavors shine in this pasta thanks to a flavorful pairing of sautéed fennel and buttery olives—all tossed with a rich cream sauce. To make a crunchy, elevated garnish, we’re frying an aromatic duo of walnuts and rosemary until fragrant and crispy.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    690 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Creamy Fennel & Olive Pasta with Fried Rosemary & Walnuts
Title
  • 6 oz Mafalda Pasta
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 1 bunch Rosemary
  • 1 oz Castelvetrano Olives
  • ¼ cup Roasted Walnuts
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 tsp Preserved Lemon Purée
  • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
  • ¼ cup Cream
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems. Roughly chop the walnuts. Combine in a bowl. Cut off and discard any stems from the fennel, then halve, core, and thinly slice the bulb. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives to release the pits. Discard the pits, then roughly chop the olives. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Combine in a bowl. 

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Fry the rosemary & walnuts:
3 Fry the rosemary & walnuts:

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a rosemary leaf sizzles immediately when added, add the prepared rosemary and walnuts; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the rosemary is crispy and the walnuts are browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Wipe out the pan. 

Cook the fennel & make the sauce:
4 Cook the fennel & make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until softened. Add the prepared olives and shallot and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Add the cream (shaking the bottle before opening). Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche and lemon purée. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finish pasta garnished with the fried rosemary and walnuts. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems. Roughly chop the walnuts. Combine in a bowl. Cut off and discard any stems from the fennel, then halve, core, and thinly slice the bulb. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives to release the pits. Discard the pits, then roughly chop the olives. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Combine in a bowl. 

2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the pasta:
Fry the rosemary & walnuts:
3 Fry the rosemary & walnuts:

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a rosemary leaf sizzles immediately when added, add the prepared rosemary and walnuts; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the rosemary is crispy and the walnuts are browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Wipe out the pan. 

4 Cook the fennel & make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until softened. Add the prepared olives and shallot and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Add the cream (shaking the bottle before opening). Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche and lemon purée. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Cook the fennel & make the sauce:
Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finish pasta garnished with the fried rosemary and walnuts. Enjoy!

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