Currant, Caper and Fennel Spaghetti
This sweet and salty supper can be thrown together in minutes making a quick and easy meal perfect for a summer’s eve.
Signing up for a vegetable bag from our local farm has to be the best decision we have made in the last year. Each week we pick up a bag of fresh produce that has been grown just 2 miles up the road. Not only are we supporting a local business, cutting down on the carbon emissions associated with our food, but it also means that we get to enjoy a wide range of seasonal fruits and vegetables that weren’t a large part of out diet before. With the arrival of June came fennel – a vegetable I rarely ate before we signed up for the veg bag but now it’s one of my absolute favourites.
Fennel is in season for roughly 4 months in the UK (from June – September) and for those 4 months I eat as much of it as I possible can. I love it roasted or sauteed, or thinly sliced in a slaw. It’s even great char-grilled on the BBQ! However you cook it, it has a wonderful sweet, anise flavour which brightens up any dish.
The rest of this dish includes a range of ingredients that you will hopefully already have in your cupboard – olive oil, chilli flakes, spaghetti, pine nuts, and currants are on the ingredients list. If you don’t have a bag of currants lurking at the back of your pantry then you can swap these out for raisins. Mushrooms, garlic, flat leaf parsley and lemons will need to come from the store (unless you grow any of them yourselves!) I like to have parsley growing in my garden for recipes just like this when only fresh herbs will do.
I’ve been growing fennel for the last 2 years but I haven’t had the heart to dig up any of the bulbs yet. The fennel fronds look beautiful as they change colours through the season (they are also great for adding to a wide range of recipes – check out my fennel frond pesto) and the seeds can be dried and kept in the cupboard for use year round.
It’s not strictly required for this recipe but sometimes I like to sprinkle a little vegan parmesan over my pasta. For an extra salty hit make yourself a big batch of my plant based parmesan so that you will have it to hand whenever you need it!
Currant, Caper and Fennel Spaghetti
This sweet and salty supper can be thrown together in minutes making a quick and easy meal perfect for a summer's eve.
- 75 grams currants
- 350 grams spaghetti
- olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 1 small white onion diced
- 1 pinch salt
- 8 mushrooms thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp capers (see note 1)
- 1 handful pine nuts
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 4 tbsp vegan parmesan optional
Before starting to cook, place the currants into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit to one side until you need them. They will plump up and re-hydrate in that time.
Add your spaghetti to a pan of boiling water and simmer while you focus on the rest of the dish.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan and add the diced onions and thinly sliced fennel along with a large pinch of salt.
Saute the fennel and onion until they have softened then add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan.
Cook the mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms have softened and the garlic has turned gold.
Add the currants, capers and pine nuts to the pan and turn the heat on low until the spaghetti is al dente.
Drain the cooked spaghetti and add to the pan with the vegetables along with the crushed chilli flakes and toss so all of the ingredients are combined.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh parsley (and vegan parmesan if using).
Serve each plat with a wedge of lemon, squeezed gently over the top.