I love it when I end up with both cauliflower and fennel in the CSA box. I automatically put capellini with cauliflower on the menu when that happens, since it’s such a good, quick and easy meal.
I didn’t get cauliflower in the box this time, but I did get fennel, and when we stopped by Cedar Park Farms to Market on Saturday morning, one of the stands was selling small-ish heads of purple cauliflower for a buck apiece — score! So, of course, I knew what I was doing with that fennel.
Ample garlicky bread crumbs and parmesan seal the deal, making this an awesome weeknight meal. Try it out, while we’re still enjoying the tail end of winter’s bounty!
Capellini with Cauliflower
12 oz whole wheat capellini
1 small head of cauliflower
2 fennel bulbs with fronds
2 Tbs olive oil, plus additional for tossing with the pasta
fresh bread crumbs*
1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic
grated parmesan for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, along with the capelini, and cook according to package directions. With 3 to 5 minutes left on the cooking time (depending on how crisp you like them), add the cauliflower florets.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the fennel bulbs and onion, and finely chop a couple of the fennel fronds. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, and saute the onions and fennel until soft and caramelized.
Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the garlic and stir briefly, then toss in the bread crumbs. Stir over medium high heat until toasted.
Drain the capellini and cauliflower and return them to the pan. Add the caramelized onions and fennel and toss well, adding a bit of olive oil to coat the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with a nice layer of bread crumbs and plenty of parmesan cheese.
* I just ground up a day-old baguette in the food processor and used about a cup of the crumbs. The rest I threw in a jar in the fridge for later use.