I knew my youngest would love this, as she loves anything with pasta, my eldest I wasnt too sure on, but it was a hit. Fennel has an aniseed taste when raw, but once cooked the flavour is very mild and it has an almost sweet taste to it.
Bacon, Fennel and Mushroom Pasta Bake
Serves 4 (2 adults and 2 children)
- 160g of whole wheat macaroni pasta (or use any type of pasta of your choice)
- 200g of mushrooms sliced
- 300g of fennel, sliced (approx half a large fennel)
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 slices of lean bacon, chopped
- 300ml of no salt chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- Black Pepper to season
- 40g of mature cheddar
- 40g of mozzarella
- juice and zest of half a lemon
- fresh parsley
- Olive oil
Cook your pasta as per packet instructions to al dente, drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 200c or 400f (gas mark 6)
Add some olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat, add the onion, garlic and bacon and cook until slightly golden. Then add the fennel, mushrooms and cook until softened.
Season with some a little black pepper.
Add a little zest and juice of a lemon and some fresh chopped parsley.
Add the stock, and mix the cornstarch with a little cold water until you have a paste and add this into the mix.
Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of mins until stock thickens slightly.
Add to an oven proof dish along with the pasta and mix well.
Top with your cheese
Bake in the oven until cheese is melted on top and lightly golden.