Roasted Fennel Pasta with Crème Fraiche, Lemon and Chilli

Did you know that the way you cook fennel can change its flavour? When you roast fennel, it becomes sweeter and produces a less intense liquorice flavour. Try this hearty, comforting winter dish that combines the sweet and savoury flavours of fennel with the saltiness of panagratto.


1 bulb of fennel

1 lemon

300g spaghetti

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

250ml pasta water

250ml Crème Fraiche

2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley

1 cup of breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon of oregano

¼ teaspoon of chili flakes

20g parmesan cheese


  1. Dice the onion.
  2. Slice the garlic thinly.
  3. Slice half of the lemon into rounds and reserve the other half for juicing.
  4. Wash and dry the fennel, then slice the fennel bulb into 8 wedges. To do this, start by slicing down the middle and cutting each half into quarters, then halving each quarter. You can reserve the fennel fronds (the leaves on top) for garnishing or adding flavor to salads and other dishes.
  5. Place the fennel and sliced lemon onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes at 185 degrees Celsius until soft and golden.
  6. To make the pangrattato, add ½ cup of breadcrumbs (you can use leftover bread), ¼ teaspoon of chili flakes, and ½ tablespoon of oregano, salt and pepper to a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes until slightly golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as they cook quite fast. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  7. Fill a large pot with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
  8. Heat a large deep pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add 250ml pasta water, the Crème Fraiche, and the roasted lemon rounds from the fennel roasting tray. Reduce the heat to low. Do not allow it to boil as it may cause the sauce to split. Cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring often.
  9. Add the cooked spaghetti, roasted fennel, and freshly chopped parsley into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Divide the pasta between bowls, sprinkle over the pangrattato and parmesan cheese, and garnish with fennel fronds.