I had a bulb of fennel left over from when I’d made the gratin a couple of days ago, so I decided to use it, along with some onion, as the base of this dish.  I cooked them both down until silky and beginning to caramelise, then I added the other vegetables and sautéed gently whilst the pasta was cooking.  I didn’t have any fresh herbs to use, so added some fennel seeds, a squeeze of lemon, and some chilli flakes, then stirred through chunks of Dolcelatte just before serving.  Oh so simple, and a great way to show off tender spring veg.




100g penne

2 medium onions

1 bulb of fennel

100g asparagus

100g broccoli

1 small courgette

50g Dolcelatte

1 tbsp. fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. chilli flakes (or to taste)

A squeeze of lemon juice

Black pepper

1 tbsp. oil




Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.  Meanwhile, slice the fennel and the onion into thin strips, and fry in the oil over a medium heat until soft and beginning to caramelise.  When the water reaches a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Cut the asparagus, broccoli and courgette into bite size pieces, then add to the fennel and onion, along with the fennel seeds.  Reduce the heat slightly and cook until soft but still retaining some bite.  Add a spoonful of the starchy water from the pasta now and again if the veg need some liquid.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir through the vegetables.  Season with pepper to taste, add the chilli flakes and lemon juice, and then roughly chop the cheese into cubes and mix in.  Serve immediately.



  1. Really nice, like this penne dish !!! 🙂

      1. You are welcome! 🙂

  2. This looks so tasty! I love pasta with veggies but this sauce sounds actually amazing! Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. I hope you like it! We loved it 🙂

  3. It looks very tasty and extremely fragrant, Karinna 🙂

    1. Thanks! We definitely enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Good to use any left over, don’t waste anything that’s my theory.

    1. I agree, I hate to waste anything!

      1. Matched, are we? 🙂

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