Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add bay, fennel seed and garlic and cook until bay begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high, add half of fennel in a single layer and cook without stirring until edges begin to brown, 3 minutes. Remove fennel with a slotted spoon from fat in pan and repeat with remaining fennel.
Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain pasta and place in serving bowl with crispy fennel, herbs, and lemon juice. (Remove bay leaf.) Toss gently to combine. Season pasta with salt and pepper.
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter. (Available February 2021.)