I’ve got a special guest post for you today from my friend Ali over at Inspiralized.com. Ali’s sharing her hearty and healthy Braised Fennel, Tomato and Bean Zucchini Pasta with us today!
For the most part, the latter part of winter is spent counting down the days until spring arrives. Once spring arrives, we’re always a little disappointed when we’re not met with blooming daffodils and warmer temperatures. Is it me, or did this winter last a long time?
This doesn’t mean that we can’t ease our way into the warmer spring and summer months with some fresher produce. By mixing winter and summer vegetables, we get a spring dish! Today, we’re doing just that – with zucchini and fennel!
Before I get to the recipe, let me tell you that I use zucchini all year round. Why? Well, I’m Ali, the blogger over at Inspiralized.com. My food blog is dedicated to cooking with spiralized veggies (noodles made out of vegetables using a spiralizer.) Needless to say, I spiralize a lot. My favorite veggie? Zucchini!
However, accepting that it’s not exactly a springy 65 degrees outside everyday (yet!), I’ve transformed a summery zucchini noodle dish into a spring one by using fennel, a popular winter vegetable.
Summer veggie + Winter veggie = Spring dish!
This dish is jam-packed with flavor without the heavy calories and carbs that are normally associated with big taste. By braising fennel with garlic, the juices and aromas of the vegetable fill the skillet and create a sauce that pairs perfectly with the tomatoes and zucchini.
The cannellini beans give this pasta dish a vegetarian-friendly, hearty protein. Of course, this filling and nutritious pasta is topped off with a light dusting of parmigiano-reggiano cheese, which gives it that rich and luxurious final taste.
If you don’t have a spiralizer and want to make this recipe now, you can use a vegetable peeler to mimic the wide noodles. To learn everything you need to know about spiralizing vegetables and all of the healthy meals you can make, visit my blog Inspiralized.com.
And don’t worry, true spring and summer are just around the corner! I’ll see you there.
Ali Maffucci is the blogger at Inspiralized.com. Inspiralized offers a unique new twist on healthy eating, using a spiralizer to create noodles out of vegetables. The blog features daily recipes and inspirational content dedicated to this culinary concept. Ali is a self-taught cook with a penchant for tasty food and hopes to inspire everyone to spiralize and start eating cleanly and creatively. She currently resides in Jersey City, NJ. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube.
Braised Fennel, Tomato and Bean Zucchini Pasta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 fennel bulb with stalks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 12 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup cannellini beans
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup vegetable broth, low sodium
- 3-4 medium zucchinis, spiralized, Blade A
- 1-2 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, for topping
- Chop off the stalks of the fennel, so only the bulb is left. Pull off about 1 tbsp of the fronds (the herb-like strands off the stalks), chop and set aside. Chop off the bottom of the bulb to remove the tough bottom. Spiralize using the Blade A (the blade without the triangles). When done, set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add in the olive oil. Then, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 30 seconds and then add in the fennel and tomatoes, squishing the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the saucepan.
- Season the fennel with salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes and then add in the vegetable broth. Cover the skillet, lower to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, add in the beans and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until some of the moisture reduces.
- Then, add in the zucchini noodles and toss to combine. Stirring frequently, cook the zucchini noodles for 2-3 minutes or until the noodles soften (they should be about al dente.)
- Plate into bowls and top with parmigiano-reggiano cheese and reserved chopped fennel fronds.
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!