Wild Fennel Pesto with Spaghetti

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Posted by in Recipes on Mar 15, 2013 . .

4 to 6 quarts water
1 Tbsp Olive Cart Michigan Flaked Sea Salt
4 cups tender wild fennel greens, chopped
2 to  3 cloves garlic
1/2 Cup pecorino cheese
1/4 Cup homemade breadcrumbs
2 Medium eggs
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
freshly ground Olive Cart Black Peppercorns
2 Tbsp Olive Cart Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Splash of dry white wine
1 lb spaghetti, preferably fresh
Olive Cart Black Pepper Olive Oil for drizzling
Grated Pecorino cheese for sprinkling

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and the fennel greens and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Chop the fennel. ( Tip: Place the colander over the pot in which you will be cooking the pasta, and drain the fennel into it. Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of the water to use for the pesto.)

In a food processor, chop the garlic. Add teh fennel greens, the 1/2 cup pecorino, bread crumbs, eggs, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Process until pureed.

In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add teh fennel mixture, white wine, and teh 1 1/2 cups reserved fennel cooking water, 1/2 cup at a time, adding more water as each addition evaporates. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly and the ingredients are well integrated. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, as the fennel mixture simmers gently, add more water to the fennel water in the pasta pot and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, 1 to  2 minutes for fresh pasta and 8 to 10 munutes for dried. Drain and transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl. Add the fennel mixture and toss well. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pecorino. Serve at once

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