Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fennel cream linguine with basil pesto

A raw pasta recipe? AGAIN? Yeah. I might have posted one or two in the past. But fennel is in season and I wanted to create something raw and completely new out of it. Raw fennel does have a strong anise taste, which is why there aren't many raw food recipes that call for it. In this dish however the salty sweet citrus marinade softens them up in texture and in flavor.

Fennel cream pasta sauce
1 small bulb fennel
1/2 C sunflower seeds, soaked and drained
Cold pressed olive oil
Honey (1-2 tbsp)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt, pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Mix together honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oil. Coat all thinly sliced fennel strips with the marinade and dehydrate (the low heat really promotes softer texture and allows the marinade to work its magic). If you have time, marinate overnight and dehydrate for an hour or two before making the sauce. I marinated for 30 min and warmed in 110F for 2 hours. In a blender or food processor process the sunflower seeds and fennel strips (marinade and all), add nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. As this is served with salty pesto, the salt is only there to slightly off-set the sweetness of the honey. The freshly ground black pepper is very essential though, make sure you add plenty.

Traditional but raw pesto:
1 huge bunch basil
3 tbsp pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt, freshly ground black pepper

Blend until desired consistency. You could always just use your favorite pesto recipe, they all should work fine.

We used a sweet potato and a parsnip for the raw pasta. This going into the kitchen with one ingredient in mind but not having the slightest clue of what I'm going to do with it seems to be a theme for me these days.. luckily it appears to work well. This was everything I wanted: cheap, satisfying, flavorful, nutritious and new.

If you haven't had fresh fennel already, this is the time to start! It is packed with vitamin C and potassium, and most importantly a great source of benefitial antioxidants and phytonutrients. Yummy!


Okriina said...

I just love fennel both cooked and raw and just made a raw fennel-cucumber soup last week which was also nice. Thanks for the idea of flavor boosting dehydration. It might work in a conventional oven as well.

Aletheia said...

That soup sounds delicious, Okriina! I actually used a conventional oven that I heated to about 45 C. So it definitely works.