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Rigatoni with Fennel and Capers

Tired of the same all pasta dishes for dinner? Try this flavorful recipe that is just so easy to make and full of zest. Even your kids will like eating their vegetables when devouring this meal. A+ for taste, uniqueness, and ease-of-preparation!

Rigatoni with fennel and capers

Rigatoni with Fennel and Capers

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


  • 3 fennel bulbs, fronds (the leafy top) removed, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, packed in
  • 1 small orange (mandarin) or tangerine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pound box of dry rigatoni pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven until oil shimmers.
  2. Add fennel wedges to pot in an evenly spread out layer.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until fennel is softened and golden brown on the bottom.
  4. Reduce heat and add capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, and mint leaves to pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Remove pot from heat and add the zest of the orange and lemon to the mixture, stirring well to combine. Cover and set aside.
  6. Cook rigatoni al dente in boiling salted water, according to the package.
  7. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta liquid.
  8. Uncover pot with sauce and add pasta and reserved pasta liquid.
  9. Heat over medium-low for about 2 minutes, adding Pecorino Romano cheese and vigorously tossing.
  10. Serve in pasta bowls, topped with torn mint leaves as garnish.

Have you tried this recipe? Make pasta night different at your house, and please tell us how it turned out for you by commenting below.


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