Caramelized Fennel Pasta with Lemon and Pine Nuts

We are all craving comfort food this time of the year. Although comfort food often equals rich and cheesy dishes, it can also be lighter substantial dishes with lots of flavor.  Pasta can be made healthier and yet still taste delicious such as in this Caramelized Fennel Pasta dish.  Cooking the fennel and shallots until they are soft and caramelized imparts intense and crave worthy flavor without a lot of unhealthy fats and ingredients.  I add lemon to brighten up the dish as well as toasted pine nuts for crunch.  This pasta is elegant enough to serve to company with a salad on the side, and in fact, I made it one year for Christmas as part of the meal.  Use gluten free pasta in place of the whole wheat if needed. Add chicken if you desire protein.

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and shallots, and sauté until very soft and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, and sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and zest, pine nuts, and cooked drained pasta, along with sea salt and pepper to taste and about 1-2 Tbsp more olive oil. Cook until heated through, and serve!

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Entree

Skill Level