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5 from 9 votes

Pasta With Fennel Pesto

Orecchiette with Fennel Pesto
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian fusion


  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta (you can use any small-shaped pasta here, including penne or even macaroni or orzo. I used orecchiette which is one of my favorite pastas). Cook according to package directions and drain.
  • For the roasted vegetables:
  • 1 fennel bulb , cut out the leaves and set aside for the pesto.
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • Dice all the vegetables into 1-inch chunks and place in a baking dish. Add:
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Roast the vegetables in a 400-degree oven , stirring a couple of times during cooking, until they are fork-tender and coated with a balsamic glaze. This took me about 35 minutes.
  • For the pesto:
  • Leaves reserved from the fennel bulb , chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic , chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but great both nutritionally and for that cheesy flavor)
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor (except the olive oil) and process until coarsely powdered. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil until you have an even paste.
  • Place the pasta, roasted veggies and the pesto in a bowl. Add:
  • /4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts.
  • Mix well and serve immediately.
  • (Tip: For an even more fennel-y flavor, add 1 tsp lightly toasted fennel seeds to the pesto)