With only a few weeks of Summer left, I've been feeling obligated to fire up the barbeque as often as possible. As such, I was happy to come across the following recipe in my copy of A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop. I find this cookbook to be great for simple, yet elegant dishes such as this Linguine with Grilled Fennel and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. A breeze to throw together, this pasta is dressed lightly with the subtly sweet anise flavour of fennel, smoky from the grill, and intensely tomato-ey sun-dried tomatoes. A splash of vinegar and a handful of high-quality cheese bring everything together in perfect harmony. Dave and I gobbled it up with some extra garlicky garlic bread, which definitely helped us better enjoy our last days of Summer.
1 large fennel bulb, stalks and fronds discarded, cut into 1/2 inch slices through the base
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
5 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and sliced into thin strips
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
1/2 lb linguine
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1. Light your grill, and set to medium-high. Brush fennel with 1 tbsp of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the fennel on the grill, and cook until tender with nice dark char marks, turning once.
2. Briefly cool the fennel, and cut into thin strips. Combine the fennel, tomatoes, basil, vinegar, and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside for up to one hour.
3. Cook pasta until al dente in well-salted boiling water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the fennel sauce, and moisten with the reserved cooking water as needed. Serve immediately, topped with a generous amount of parmigiano-reggiano.