3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into matchstick-size strips (I use applewood smoked bacon)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large fennel bulbs, fronds chopped, bulbs cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup whipping cream
1 pound fettuccine
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pancetta and garlic; sauté until garlic is pale golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped fennel fronds, fennel wedges, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook until fennel wedges are soft, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Toss pasta with fennel mixture and enough reserved cooking water to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately.
yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Adapted from Fettuccine with Pancetta and Fennel