The union of fennel with orange is one of my favourites. Thanks to Diego Bonetto’s foraging tour I learnt how to identify edible plants growing wild in my backyard including fennel.
My fresh, raw juice was enough to sustain me through a divine facial and massage today but by the time I arrived home I was starving! So I made a nice big plate of pasta (to share of course). Usually the pasta is the star and the sauce is quite minimal but I decided to bulk up on the crisp, green, seasonal vegetables.
You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste but be careful not to add too much extra pesto. The pasta should be slightly flavoured, not thickly coated.
250g bavette pasta
Hand fulls of fresh peas
Handful of chopped fresh asparagus
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped dessert spoon of pesto
Put a pot of water on the stove to boil, add a generous amount of salt and toss in the pasta. Heat some olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic and chilli until fragrant. Add the asparagus and peas and as they start to turn bright green, add the pesto and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Drain the cooked pasta and reserve some of the water. Toss the pasta through the sauce using the leftover water to loosen the sauce.
Serve the pasta piled up on a dish, sprinkle coral pink shreds of smoked salmon over the top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Let the pasta cool slightly before topping it with the salmon to avoid cooking it. Don’t squeeze lemon juice over the pasta once it is served as the acid will cook the salmon.