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Orecchiette with Fennel in Parmesan Cream

Source: Cooking at a Glance - Pasta
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  20 Minutes
  Makes 6 side-dish servings
Translated from the Italian, orecchiette means "little ears," a good description of their appearance. This is a very appealing pasta that can be made by hand or purchased dried. Here it pairs with a complex sauce that features exotic mushrooms and strips of Italian ham.
4 ounces dried or 8 ounces fresh orecchiette
1 fennel bulb
3-4 ounces fresh crimini or shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin bite-size strips
1/3 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon sambuca or other anise liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
Orecchiette with Fennel in Parmesan Cream Recipe at
In a large saucepan or pasta pot bring 3 quarts water to boiling. Add pasta. Reduce heat slightly. Boil, uncovered, 9-12 minutes for dried pasta or 2-3 minutes for fresh, or till al dente, stirring occasionally. (Or, cook according to package directions.) Drain.

Meanwhile, clean, trim, and slice the fennel bulb. Clean mushrooms; remove stems and discard. Slice mushroom caps.

In a large skillet cook and stir the fennel over medium-high heat in hot margarine or butter for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and onion. Cook and stir for 5 minutes more. Add prosciutto and parsley.

In a small mixing bowl combine whipping cream, Parmesan cheese, chicken broth, egg, anise liqueur or anise extract, and aniseed. Pour cream mixture into skillet. Cook and stir till cheese melts and sauce thickens slightly. Add hot cooked pasta and toss to coat pasta well. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Pasta with Cream Sauce
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes 6 side-dish servings
Calories: 290
Fat. Total: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 20g
Sodium: 278mg
% Cal. from Fat: 59%
Cholesterol: 87mg
Protein: 11g
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