Happy Spring! Nothing says spring in Sicily more than wild fennel. And today, being the vernal equinox, I want to bring attention to this fragrant, flavorful plant that grows wild all over the island, and is the principal ingredient of pasta con le sarde (after the sardines of course!). Not to be confused with the bulb fennel we have in our supermarkets here in the United States, wild fennel is mostly fronds (the fern-like leaves), which contain the flavor that is most prominent when it is young. Because one can pick wild fennel (like this pictured on the hillside in Savoca), basically on side of the road, ’tis the season for pasta with sardines (another reason it’s traditionally eaten this time of year).
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I miss Finocchio Selvatico and the pasta!!
I’ve been saving my jar. It’s time to use it though!