fennel and prawns, prawns and fennel


fennel and prawns is a such a good combination – it just makes me smile because I know that something delicious is going to be created. last night’s supper involved both fennel seeds and a bulb of fennel and it was particularly delicious. it also smelt great while it was cooking!

i do need to find a way to take prettier pictures of pasta though!

spaghetti with fennel, smoked pancetta and prawns (serves 2)

4-6 raw prawns per person, shelled and de-veined

½ teaspoon of fennel seeds

1 teaspoon olive oil

25g butter (optional*)

1 large bulb of fennel

100g diced smoked pancetta

1 clove garlic, finely chopped 

juice and zest of ½ a lemon


marinate the prawns with the fennel seeds and olive oil and set aside.

remove the feathery fronds from the fennel, chop and keep for later. dice the fennel, removing the core that is near the root.

melt the butter and add the pancetta, garlic and fennel. fry until the pancetta is cooked and the fennel starts to caramelise. meanwhile cook your spaghetti.

when the spaghetti is ready, add the lemon juice and zest to the fennel/pancetta mix. stir in the pasta and the chopped fennel fronds (or you could use dill).

keep the pasta warm while you quickly fry the marinated prawns – in a separate pan – 30 seconds on each side is enough. stir these into the pasta, making sure you scrape all the fennel seeds into the pan, or use them as a garnish.

serve with salad with a dressing made from lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and seasoning.

* if you want to make this lower fat, fry the pancetta in a non-stick pan and when it starts to release its fat, add the fennel. i like the depth of flavour the butter adds but it’s entirely optional.