Pasta Risotto with Fennel

Pasta Risotto with Fennel Recipe
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
The entire fennel plant is used in this recipe, so purchase one with fresh-looking fronds. The bulb adds flavor, while the feathery green fronds finish the dish. The wine is added with a broth to keep more of the wine flavor and balance the licorice hint from the fennel.


4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 366
Caloriesfromfat 22 %
Fat 9.1 g
Satfat 4.7 g
Monofat 2.1 g
Polyfat 0.7 g
Protein 12.7 g
Carbohydrate 48.9 g
Fiber 5.5 g
Cholesterol 21 mg
Iron 3.7 mg
Sodium 660 mg
Calcium 172 mg


2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups chopped fennel bulb
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (about 8 ounces rice-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel bulb, leek, and fennel seeds; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in salt. Cover and cook 12 minutes or until fennel is tender, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Combine broth and wine; bring to a simmer in a large saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat (mixture will look curdled).

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add orzo to pan; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring mixture frequently until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 17 minutes total). Stir in leek mixture; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, fennel fronds, and pepper.

Lorrie Hulston Corvin,

Cooking Light

March 2005
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