Gemelli with Fennel & Bacon

fennel  onions

I realize that this is my fourth pasta dish in 4 days, and the second one with fennel, but I’m on a roll here and I figured that I would just keep it up all week.

onions, bacon and carrots

My husband has been working like a beast since we moved to Charleston, this unfortunately for both of us, means that he hasn’t been cooking, not to mention his lesson on the INSANE American work ethic. 

This was yet another pasta thrown together from what we had in the house, we always seem to have fennel waiting to be eaten. Lately we also always seem to have bacon lying around, a normal pack of bacon is waaaaay too much for my husband and I, we always end up having to throw half the pack away. Un peccato. I’m also incapable of eating bacon everyday or incorporating it into every dish until the package is finished. Since my husband is Italian, big breakfasts occur about once a month in our house, as a novelty, so that won’t work either, not to mention the fact that I make pitiful bacon. Bacon rants, I should see if I can buy a small amount from the deli at my grocery. 

The flavors of this dish are like the changing seasons, the smokiness of the bacon with the fresh crisp flavors of the fennel and the battuto of celery, carrots and onions. Yum, spring.

fennel, carrots, bacon & onions  gemelli with fennel and bacon

Gemelli with Fennel & Bacon

  • 1 large fennel bulb, chopped, fronds set aside
  • 1 medium onion, cut into rings
  • 1 small carrot, cut with a peeler
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 4 slabs of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb of gemelli pasta
  •  salt for pasta water
  • grated parmigiano reggiano

Chop the fennel into small pieces, almost like you would chop an onion. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the chopped fennel. Sauté the fennel over high heat until it turns golden. Add the onions, celery, bacon and carrot. Stir and simmer over medium heat until the pasta is cooked. 

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and absorb the flavor. If the sauce appears dry when you are about to drain the pasta, toss in a cup of the pasta water and bring to a boil.

Off the heat, toss the fennel fronds with the pasta and serve with grated parmigiano reggiano.

gemelli with fennel & bacon

~ by italicious on March 12, 2009.

One Response to “Gemelli with Fennel & Bacon”

  1. You obviously love pasta so I really want you to try Al Dente Fettuccine or Linguine. Our pasta cooks in just 3 minutes and tastes exactly like Homemade. (Marcella Hazan taught me everything I know about making pasta and that was 30 years ago!) If you can’t find it in your local store, contact me via I love your recipes.

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