Rachael Ray’s Spaghetti with Fennel & Onion Sauce
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Rachael Ray’s Spaghetti with Fennel & Onion Sauce

Drink with: 2019 Sohm & Kracher Lion Gruner Veltliner, Austria, $20. A crisp white from Aldo Sohm, who was named Best Sommelier of the World (really!) in 20018. 

Recipe by Rachael Ray

This recipe originally appeared in our Holiday 2020 issue. Get the magazine here

  • 4 to 6Servings


  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 large bulb fennel—quartered, cored, and very thinly sliced (reserve 1/2 cup fennel fronds for garnish)
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. fennel pollen or ground fennel
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper 
  • About 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup white wine, such as Sancerre or Pinot Grigio
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
  • A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley tops, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

2. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Add the fennel and onion; season with salt. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables soften (do not brown), 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic; stir for a minute. Stir in the fennel pollen, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest, then add the wine and broth. Cook until the sauce is reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and reduce the heat to a simmer while you cook the pasta.

3. Salt the water, add the pasta, and cook about 1 minute less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain the pasta.

4. Add the pasta, lemon juice, pasta cooking water, and cheese to the sauce; toss to coat. Serve the pasta topped with the parsley, nuts, and fennel fronds. 

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