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Pasta with Fennel Bulb

- Submitted by Dahlia on 2nd Jul 2008

(Fennel Bulb Pasta)

Fennel Pasta

When I first saw the fennel bulb, it attracted me so much that I had to buy it. I was wondering about how to use it in Indian cooking. The bulb has a slightly sweet taste combined with a mild flavor of the fennel seeds. After I tasted it, I really fell in love with its wonderful aroma and taste. It goes very well with all Indian flavors. Just like the fennel seeds, it goes very well with all non vegetarian preparations. It can be added while cooking chicken or prawns or crab in Indian style curries along with onions to give that nice fennel flavor. Vegetarians can use it with potato and mushroom preparations. It can also be used while making pulaos.

This recipe is a very simple pasta dish using fennel bulb. Fennel has a bulb at the bottom with attached fronts or greens. Clean the bulb thoroughly before using it. There can be lot of mud trapped between the layers of the bulb. Chop it lengthwise. It has a crunchy texture just like banana stem or celery. The tender leafy fronts can also be used in salads or soups. It is often used as a herb. In India it if often confused with dill leaves because both look similar. The local vegetable lady in our apartment once got a bunch of dill leaves and called it sombu keerai. Sombu refers to fennel in tamil but the sombu keerai that is available in markets is actually dill leaves. Although both look similar and can be used interchangeably, they are in fact different.

Recipe For Fennel Pasta

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Pasta – 1/2 lb
  • Fennel bulb - 1(Cleaned and sliced thin)
  • Fennel Leaves - chopped finely
  • Garlic – 4 cloves (minced)
  • Onions – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Fennel seeds – a pinch
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Chilly flakes/ pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup (or any cheese of your choice)
  • Cream (or milk) - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - to taste


  1. Cook pasta in plenty of water, drain and keep aside. Just follow the package instructions and cook it al dente.
  2. Chop the fennel bulb into thin slices. Also finely chop the fennel leaves and keep aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the fennel seeds. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent. 
  4. Add the chopped fennel bulbs and part of the leaves and sauté till the pieces are tender. 
  5. Add the chilly flakes/pepper powder and required salt. 
  6. Reduce the heat to minimum and add the cream/milk followed by cheese. 
  7. Mix till the cheese melts and a nice sauce is formed. Switch off. 
  8. Add cooked pasta, chopped fennel fronts (leaves) and toss everything together to coat with the sauce.Serve warm.

Serving Fennel Pasta

  • Fennel Pasta can be served as a meal with some garlic bread, some chicken side or a salad.

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