Pasta with Fennel and Arugola

fennelpasta When the moving company left us with our mountains of boxes last Friday, the kitchen was probably the least accessible room. Our old kitchen was a live-in-kitchen, spacious and with quite some storage space. Our new kitchen is, well, just that – a small kitchen with a couple of shelves. I had written “kitchen” on every box that came out of the kitchen, ignoring the fact that they wouldn’t all fit back into the kitchen. But here they were, boxes upon boxes, and I had no idea where to find which pot and where which spoon was hidden. So we decided to go out for dinner that first night. Fast forward to day five in our new house, and things are slowly starting to normalize. I still don’t have a desk but what I do have is – oh yes – a gas stove. I’ve always wanted one (one of those “when I grow up”-things) and I used to have one when I lived in Cincinnati for a year, but now that that little blue flame of happiness comes on right in front of me I have a hard time imagining how I was ever able to do without one. It’s probably the cheapest kind of gas stove you can find, nothing fancy, but I already love that thing to death. Every night I can’t wait to start cooking.

We had this wonderful pasta with fennel, arugula, lemons and a hint of garlic last night. I ripped the recipe out of an old magazine months and months ago and threw it onto the loose-recipes-pile. Without the move I probably wouldn’t have looked at that pile for another couple of months. Good thing we moved, I guess.

serves 4

2-3 fennel bulbs, cubed
1 yellow onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 lb pasta
2-3 heaped tbsp crème fraiche
1 lemon, zested
2 large handfuls arugula
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
Parmesan, grated

In order to cube the fennel bulbs, first cut them in half lengthwise, then cut out the stem in a wedge.     Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook fennel, onion and garlic until they are soft but not browned.     This takes a couple of minutes, so in the meantime put on the pasta.     In a small bowl, stir together crème fraiche, lemon zest, salt and pepper.     When the pasta is done, save a ladleful of the cooking liquid, drain the pasta, put it back in the pot with the ladleful of liquid, add fennel and crème fraiche.     Toss, season to taste and finally carefully toss with the arugula.     Sprinkle some parmesan on top and serve.

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