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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 8 cups

This recipe is a great introduction to fresh fennel, which turns silky-soft when simmered with pasta. The light licorice taste of this fun root vegetable pairs perfectly with the earthy sweetness of butternut squash. Add a crunchy topping of chopped walnuts, and you have a five-star meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes. Be generous when adding the fennel fronds at the end so you get maximum flavor, and save any leftover fronds or stalks to add to salads later in the week!

Penne with Butternut Squash and Fresh Fennel in a gray bowl with wooden serving spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 8 oz. dry whole grain penne
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1½ cups cubed fresh butternut squash
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Remove stems from fennel bulbs; trim and coarsely chop the fronds. Halve bulbs, then cut into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  2. Add penne and onion to boiling water. Cook according to package directions for the pasta, adding squash and sliced fennel bulb the last 7 minutes of cooking.
  3. Reserve 3 cups cooking water. Drain pasta and vegetables. Return pasta and vegetables to pot. Add 1 to 1½ cups cooking water and ¼ to ½ cup chopped fennel fronds to pot; toss to coat. Add additional reserved cooking water if desired for saucier pasta. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Comments (7)

(3.25 from 4 votes)
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Wendy Neander2 months ago
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Tasteless is accurate, so add seasoning. I added salt, onion salt, chicken-style seasoning, pepper. Not bad after that. I wish I had thought of lemon, that would have brightened it a lot. I would leave the butternut out and put something else in. Almost everyone ate it thought, so not a complete failure.

I4 months ago
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Tasteless

Elizabeth Hague4 months ago
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Tasteless

Tom Breunig5 months ago
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Frankly, this is tasteless. Who develops these recipes? I am no longer using recipes from Forks over Knives, there are plenty of better tasting vegan recipes on the Internet.

Greyhound Mom6 months ago
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This recipe seems unfinished. Maybe some lemon zest or garlic would help? I am not a huge fan of spice, but this is even too bland for me

Lindsay Parks6 months ago
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Needs some “zip”. I will add halved cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning.

Theresa6 months ago
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A bit bland even with the fennel, but it was ok

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about the author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. 

Mary Margaret lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing.

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