December 7, 2013

Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta

Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta
Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta



Growing up I never wanted kids. I wasn't one of those girls that loved baby dolls and wanted to be a mommy. I wasn't even planning on getting married. I told anyone that would listen that I was going to  get a degree and live by myself in a great apartment. Everyone always laughed at how planned out I had everything. A lot of it had to do with my mother being the oldest of 12 kids. My grandmother had passed away before I was born and my mother had taken over the role of a second mother for my aunts and uncles. Growing up I was surrounded by cousins and since I was an older than most of them I had to watch a lot of my younger cousins. I loved my cousins, but they could get into a lot of trouble and me along with them. Plus my mother was always on the phone, visiting or generally interacting with family members. It was hard not to be a little jealous that I wasn't the center of attention, especially since I was an only child.

I met my husband in grad school. I had moved 2500 miles away from home and knew no one. He was one of the first people to be nice to me in my very first evening class. Gradually we became friends, he drove me home from work study, we ate dinner together in the school cafeteria in-between classes. We moved in with each other a month after officially dating and were married 5 months later. The girl that was never going to get married walked down the aisle before most of her friends. On our second anniversary I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I had my second 2 1/2 years later. I still went to graduate school, worked a great job in bio-tech for 7 years, I just achieved everything much younger than I thought I would. I have two smart, beautiful and talented boys. I never thought that I wanted to be a mother, but now that I am I can't imagine my life anything other way. They complete the love that my husband and I formed so quickly more than 10 years ago.

While my family will eat gluten free pasta, they prefer the real thing if given the choice. Every couple of weeks I make a pasta meal for them to enjoy using regular wheat pasta. A while back I tried a new recipe for Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta from Martha Stewart Living magazine.
Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta
Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 25 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I only made a few changes to the original recipe. First, my family doesn't like whole wheat pasta. I have tried every brand, half whole wheat etc. and they hate them all. So instead I used regular pasta, it wasn't worth the battle. Make sure to salt the pasta water, if you don't the pasta will need a lot more salt after cooking. The only other change that I made was to add more pasta cooking water than the recipe suggested. I found it necessary to make sure that the pasta was well coated and the flavors combined.
Lake Vesuvius
Lake Vesuvius 

My husband really enjoyed this recipe. He is a huge fennel fan and this was a nice way to use it in a  pasta recipe. My two kids were skeptical when they say the sardines, they were hesitant to eat the bones. After trying the dish though they loved the fennel and sardines. The recipe is definitely geared towards adults, but if you have adventurous kids like mine it would also make a nice family meal. Plus since it takes less than 30 minutes it would be great for a busy weeknight.

For the recipe go to Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta.
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