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Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan
30 min or less, Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers

Fresh and light pasta with unique flavors of saffron, fennel, lemon and capers, topped with a pine nut and panko breadcrumb mix. 

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan

Not long ago I was sitting around watching the Anthony Bourdain show. Do you guys watch that show? I totally envy his job, traveling all over the world experiencing cultures, eating food AND getting paid for it- can you say dream job!? The only exception is when he’s slaughtering an animal or devouring some strange animal body part. But no one is perfect and I usually just close my eyes during those parts. =) So for this particular episode he was in Sicily and mentioned a dish made of sardines, fennel, saffron and pine nuts. The flavors sounded so good (minus the sardines) I knew I had to make my own version of this Italian pasta favorite. So I substituted the sardines with capers and added white wine because well, I will add wine to anything if I get a chance. I love this dish because…

  1. It looks really fancy even though it’s not really that involved.
  2. It’s a healthy pasta with a light sauce and that’s always a win in my book.
  3. Um hello! it just tastes good!

Just be aware- saffron can be expensive at certain stores. I went to one market and they were selling the tiniest jar for $28!! Then I found a small bottle from Trader Joe’s for around $10. The bottle is usually really small because you don’t need much. For this recipe, I used 1/4 teaspoon, a little more than I usually do, since saffron is the star of the show for this recipe. Also, saffron will last a long time if you keep it in a cool dark place like your cupboard. It can last for years. You’ll see the saffron in the photo below. They are the little red threads.

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan

So let’s make it already! To begin, cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup liquid. This is something I always forget to do, even when I am developing the recipe myself. Ha! So try and remember this part. It really does make a difference (the water is more starchy so it makes the sauce thicker and binds it together).

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic, pine nuts and breadcrumbs. Cook the pine nuts and breadcrumbs over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the nuts and breadcrumbs are lighted toasted, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the pine nuts and breadcrumbs from the pan and set aside in a medium bowl.

In the same sauté pan, add the 1 teaspoon olive oil and the fennel. Cook for 7-8 minutes until soft and starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine, reserved liquid from the pasta, saffron, capers, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta noodles and stir. Remove pasta from heat; add lemon juice and stir.

Serve pasta in a bowl and top with the breadcrumb/pine nut mixture before serving. Best served immediately. Serves 4. *Make sure you add the breadcrumb mix just before serving or it may dry out the pasta.

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan

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Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers (Vegan)

Saffron Fennel Pasta with Capers | via veggiechick.com #vegan

Fresh and light pasta with unique flavors of saffron, fennel, lemon and capers, topped with a pine nut and panko breadcrumb mix.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces linguine or fettuccine pasta, gluten free if desired (*reserve 1 cup pasta water)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup panic breadcrumbs, gluten free if desired
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thin, about 2 cups (discard green parts)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and breadcrumbs. Cook the pine nuts and breadcrumbs over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until nuts and breadcrumbs are lighted toasted, about 4-5 minutes. Remove pine nuts and breadcrumbs from pan and set aside in a medium bowl.
  3. In the same sauté pan, add the 1 teaspoon olive oil and the fennel. Cook for 7-8 minutes until soft and starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine, reserved liquid from the pasta, saffron, capers, salt and pepper. Add pasta noodles and stir. Remove pasta from heat; add lemon juice and stir.
  4. Serve pasta in a bowl and top with the breadcrumb/pine nut mixture just before serving. Serves 4. Best served immediately. *Make sure you add the breadcrumb mix just before serving or it may dry out the pasta.

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Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

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