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RECIPE Fennel and Prosciutto di Parma pasta bake

The aromatic anise flavour of the fennel mixed with the savoury taste of Parma Ham complements each other in this simple yet tasty dish you can make at home.

Credit: Steve Lee Studios

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Serves 4


2 Large fennels, trimmed & diced

80g Unsalted butter

2 tsp Fennel seeds

45g Plain flour

100ml Dry white wine

450ml Whole milk

250g Dry egg tagliatelle, lightly broken

80g Parma Ham, thinly sliced

40g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

Salt & Pepper



Melt 35g of butter in a pan, add 4 tbsp of water, the diced fennel, the fennel seeds and salt & pepper, braise with the lid on for approx. 10 mins until tender.

Meanwhile, make the white sauce - Melt 45g of butter and add the flour. Mix together to form a roux and cook on a low heat for 3 mins, stirring continuously.

Add the wine and work into the roux, ensuring it stays smooth.

Add the milk in five stages, each time stirring into the roux and ensuring there are no lumps before adding more.

Once all the milk is incorporated, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the fennel and continue cooking over low heat.

Cook the pasta for half the time recommended on the packet in salted water. Drain, reserving a mug of the pasta water.

Add the pasta to the white sauce and fennel mix.

Tear the slices of Parma Ham into a few strips and fold into the mix.

Add pasta water to loosen (I used 160g pasta water. This is needed as the pasta will soak up more liquid and some will evaporate).

Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Bake at 200˚c for approx. 15 mins until golden brown on top. Garnish with finely chopped fennel fronds if using.

Serve with a green salad.


Recipes created by Tastehead.

Photographs by Steve Lee Studios.

On behalf of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma

Twitter: @Parmahamuk

Prosciutto di Parma is produced in the hills surrounding the Italian town of Parma

in the area of Emilia Romagna in Italy. The unique taste of Parma Ham is dependent on the traditional production process passed down from Roman times, carefully controlled by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma. Only hams that have passed strict curing regulations approved by the EU can be awarded the stamp of the Ducal crown –a five-pointed coronet logo with PARMA in the centre which is branded onto the ham’s skin. The Ducal Crown is now a certification trademark.

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