In the mood for pasta, I was rummaging in my fridge and saw shredded rotisserie chicken, fennel and a bit of mascarpone. Some random flash of old reminded me that I’d once seen a dish with pasta, chicken and currants. YES! So, I sauteed some garlic, fennel and currants in some olive oil, salted it well, added a healthy dash of cinnamon and some chicken, sauteed some more, deglazed with some of the white wine I was drinking and kept warm.
In the meantime, in super-well-salted water, I cooked some whole wheat spaghetti until al dente, reserved 1/2 cup of cooking water, and then tossed the pasta, a nice knob of mascarpone and about 1/4 c cooking water into the fennel-chicken mixture. I stirred/cooked it all over low heat, adding a bit more cooking water as I went to keep it vaguely saucy, and served with freshly grated parmesan and some chopped fennel fronds on top. DIVINE! —em-i-lis
extra-virgin olive oil
large (!) clove of garlic, peeled and minced
fennel, diced, some fronds (a generous tablespoon or so) chopped and reserved
In a 4-quart pot, heat to a boil some well-salted water. Add enough whole wheat spaghetti for 1-2 people (one large entree, or two smaller portions).
In the meantime, over medium heat in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the fennel, garlic and currants. Stir until fragrant and starting to soften, a few minutes. Add a healthy dash of cinnamon and the chicken and stir to combine. If you are drinking white wine or have some, deglaze the pan with a generous splash. Turn heat to low and keep mixture warm.
When the pasta is al dente, scoop out and reserve about 1/2 c of cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the fennel-chicken mixture. Add the mascarpone and ~1/4 c of cooking liquid. When the mascarpone gets creamy and incorporates, check the sauciness factor and add more reserved cooking water if you'd like.
When the pasta is warm and the sauciness is to your liking, pour into a serving bowl and grate some fresh parmesan over the top. Toss to combine and then sprinkle the reserved, chopped fennel fronds over the pasta.