This is our current favourite, a recipe given to us by our great friend Tracy, works brilliantly with a full style of Rhone white like the delicious organic Cotes du Rhone blanc ( a Roussane/Clairette blend) from high vineyards in the Dentelles at Domaine de la Ferme Saint Martin.
Sage, Florence Fennel and Ricard Pasta
(Sourced from Sarah Raven’s collection of recipes)
6 shallots, peeled and roughly sliced
3 medium-sized fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
5 tbsp Ricard
20 sage leaves coarsely chopped
50 g butter
3 tbsp olive oil
100 ml crème fraîche
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Tagliatelle or other pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
Preheat oven (150C/gas mark 2)
Put shallots, fennel bulbs and sage leaves, Ricard, butter & oil in a covered oven proof dish with some seasoning. Braise gently in the oven for an hour, until the fennel bulbs are soft ( I usually parboil the fennel for a few minutes before braising).
Check every so often to make sure that they are not sticking, if the liquid has been absorbed add more Pernod or water.
Chop or pulse once in a food processor, but do not reduce to a purée.
Towards the end of the braising time, toast the pinenuts for a couple of minutes in a dry frying pan, & cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
Drain the cooked pasta, leaving about 3 tbsp water, & fold in the sauce. Add the crème fraîche. Scatter with plenty of Parmesan & more salt & pepper to taste.
Et voilà. Enjoy!