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RIGATONI WITH BRAISED FENNEL, LEMON AND FRESH RICOTTA

 

Lotsa Pasta
by Michele Anna Jordan
Raw fennel is refreshing and crunchy, with a slight taste of licorice. When braised it becomes rich and almost sweet, and is best accented with a little lemon.
Yield: 4 servings.
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Ready to serve: 35 minutes.



Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-wide wedges
• 1 tablespoon kosher (coarse) salt plus more to taste
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 lb. rigatoni (tube-shaped pasta)
• 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (4 oz.)
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
• 8 basil leaves, cut into thin crosswise strips


Directions
1.
Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot; add fennel and saute, turning frequently, until cut edges begin to turn golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add wine and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook about 20 minutes or until fennel is very tender when pierced with fork. Remove saucepan from heat.

2. Fill large pot two-thirds full of water; add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook rigatoni according to package directions; drain. Do not rinse. Transfer cooked pasta to shallow bowl.

3. Add ricotta, braised fennel (with cooking juices), remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and lemon peel; toss gently until cheese is melted. Add basil leaves; season with salt and pepper. Toss again.

Nutrition
Per serving: 690 calories, 21 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 875 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.

 

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