Ditali Pasta & Yellow Tomato Sauce with Saffron & Fennel-Orange Salad

Ditali Pasta & Yellow Tomato Sauce

with Saffron & Fennel-Orange Salad

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s pasta dish showcases a sauce made from two special ingredients grown in the south of Italy: sweet yellow tomatoes and subtly floral saffron, brought to the Mediterranean region from North Africa. We’re using ditali pasta, whose tube-like shape is perfect for holding onto the tangy-sweet sauce. A simple salad of roasted fennel and juicy blood orange (a softer-skinned variety with red-tinged rind and flesh) makes for equally bright, seasonal fare.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Wash and dry the fresh produce.

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high.

Cut off and discard any fennel stems; halve the bulb lengthwise. Cut out and discard the core, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces.

Peel and small dice the onion.

Peel and mince the garlic.

Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands.

Cut off and discard the rind and white pith of the orange; medium dice.

Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Roast the fennel:
2 Roast the fennel:

Place the fennel on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer.

Roast, stirring halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

While the fennel roasts, in a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot.

Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic, saffron powder and up to half the red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta:
4 Cook the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Finish the pasta:
5 Finish the pasta:

Whilte the fennel continues to roast, add the cooked pasta, butter and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the pan of sauce. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the orange, roasted fennel, half the parsley and as much of the remaining red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes.

Divide the finished pasta between 2 separate dishes; garnish with the cheese and remaining parsley. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Wash and dry the fresh produce.

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high.

Cut off and discard any fennel stems; halve the bulb lengthwise. Cut out and discard the core, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces.

Peel and small dice the onion.

Peel and mince the garlic.

Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands.

Cut off and discard the rind and white pith of the orange; medium dice.

Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

2 Roast the fennel:

Place the fennel on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer.

Roast, stirring halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.

Roast the fennel:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

While the fennel roasts, in a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot.

Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic, saffron powder and up to half the red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the pasta:
Finish the pasta:
5 Finish the pasta:

Whilte the fennel continues to roast, add the cooked pasta, butter and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the pan of sauce. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the orange, roasted fennel, half the parsley and as much of the remaining red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes.

Divide the finished pasta between 2 separate dishes; garnish with the cheese and remaining parsley. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

Make the salad & plate your dish:
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