I did something dangerous a few days ago: I went to the grocery store without a list of what to buy! *gasp* If I can learn to limit my impulse purchases, I really should do this more often. Going to the grocery store without a rigid plan let's me build my meals around what's fresh and on sale. On this trip, the fennel was on sale and also looking particularly fantastic, so I grabbed a bulb and planned out this pasta dish. I'm very pleased with how this dish turned out. The mushrooms are very meaty after being roasted, and the fennel and tomatoes caramelize and taste slightly sweet.
When I head down to Houston in a few weeks, I'm planning on making this dish for Boyfriend, but I'll add artichokes and fresh rosemary. I'll then have to ruin it by adding marinara sauce to Boyfriend's portion, because he doesn't believe in pasta without marinara... To each his own...
Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Fennel, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes
Makes 2 large servings
• 3 servings of cooked whole wheat pasta (I used penne and fusilli because that's what i had)
• 1 large fennel bulb, cut into bite-size slices
• 1 pint plum tomatoes, quartered and seeds squeezed out (it doesn't take as long as it sounds!)
• 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, cut in half, or quarters if large
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 4 ounces of fresh mozarella, optional (without it, this would be vegan)
Preheat the oven to 425° while you prep. Spread the fennel on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the tomatoes and mushrooms. Drizzle with more olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Put the baking sheet back in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and mix the vegetables. Put back in the oven for the final 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the vegetables with the pasta, adding a bit more olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste. Top with mozarella, if desired.