This light vegetable dish features toasted walnuts and fennel. Fennel gives this dish an anise or licorice flavor. It’s a large white bulb with celerylike stems and green, feathery leaves. The leaves and fennel seeds add another layer of flavor to the dish. Toasting the walnuts intensifies the walnuts flavor.
Any type of whole wheat pasta can be used.
Walnuts can be toasted in a toaster oven or under the broiler.
Snip the fennel leaves from the fennel stems with a scissors.
Place water for pasta on to boil.
To buy: 1 small package broken walnuts, 1 fennel bulb, 1 bottle fennel seeds, 1 can reduced-sodium diced tomatoes and 1 package whole wheat spaghetti.
Staples: olive oil, onion, minced garlic, salt and black peppercorns.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks including her newest, "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Listen to podcasts at www.880thebiz.com. Connect with Linda by email at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com; on Facebook at @FoodNewsandViews; and on Twitter at @Lgassenheimer
WALNUT AND FENNEL PASTA
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer
Yield 2 servings.
1/2 cup walnuts
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
1 1/2 cups fennel cubes
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups canned, reduced-sodium diced tomatoes
1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fennel leaves
Place a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts water on to boil for spaghetti. Coarsely chop walnuts and toast them for 1 to 2 minutes. Watch to make sure they do not burn. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and onion. Saute 5 minutes stirring or until onion turns golden. Recued heat to medium and add the garlic and fennel seeds and saute another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, as soon as the water comes to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti and cook 8 to 9 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and add to the skillet. Add the remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Sprinkle walnuts and fennel leaves on top. Divide between 2 dinner plates.
Per serving: 630 calories (50 percent from fat), 34.9 g fat (3.4 g saturated, 11.9 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 19.9 g protein, 70.7 g carbohydrates, 16.4 g fiber, 67 mg sodium