Roasted Fennel + Asparagus Pasta

I will be the first to admit that I was scared of fennel. I didn’t even know what it looked like, let alone what it tasted like. I had heard rumors that it tasted like anise (gag), but it was suggested at an Italian restaurant to add some much needed flavor to a bland dish.

And I decided to throw caution to the wind.

It was love at first bite.

It was delicate.

It was the perfect addition to pasta.

It felt super fancy.

It made me want to like anise. 

This recipe is super easy, looks complicated, and will impress every single person at your dinner table in one bite.

Even if that just means the people who live with you day in and day out.


Yields 2-4

Roasted Fennel + Asparagus Pasta

Impress your friends with this super easy, super complicated looking, and delicious pasta dish.

15 minPrep Time

55 minCook Time

1 hr, 10 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 bulbs fennel; stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise in 1-inch thick pieces
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb pasta of choice
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat; approximately 1-2 tbs.
  3. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat; approximately 1 tbs.
  4. Arrange on baking sheet lined with foil.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.
  6. When fennel has about 10 minutes left in oven, begin to boil water for pasta.
  7. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
  8. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  9. Add onion and sauté for about 5-7 minutes.
  10. Add garlic and asparagus.
  11. Cook until asparagus is bright green and crisp tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  12. Add fennel. Stir to combine, and cook for about 2-3 minutes—just long enough to combine flavors.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve atop pasta.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, and egg free. Can also be made wheat free and gluten free by using an appropriate pasta.


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More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a meditation encourager, mama, and Pittsburgh enthusiast. She recently launched a podcast called Nourish + Flourish and is a co-pilot at Propelle.


  1. Reply You sound like me. I hate anise but decided to buy some fennel anyhow. Not sure what I'll make yet, but you make me want to roast it. :)
    1. Reply Try it roasted in pasta. It's a great flavor. And great paired with asparagus.
  2. Reply I only like fennel roasted (another anise hater) too! I'll have to try this pasta - sounds delicious!
    1. Reply It's so good roasted. I love adding it to pasta.
  3. Reply Wow! Thanks for sharing, I love anise so I am looking forward to trying this.
  4. Reply Happy Fennel Friday! We love this recipe and it is featured on our Pasta and Fennel Recipes! Thanks!

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