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Bobby Flay’s Springtime Pasta

As far as we’re concerned, the best way to showcase peak springtime produce (and celebrate the changing of the seasons!) is with a pasta dish. And not just any pasta dish—this extra special one from chef-in-residence Bobby Flay, with creamy ricotta and perfectly lemony toasted bread crumbs. 

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Penne with Fennel, Snow Peas, and Toasted Breadcrumbs:

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Penne with Fennel, Snow Peas, and Toasted Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Misfits Market



Penne with Fennel, Snow Peas, and Toasted Breadcrumbs

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut in half and sliced, fennel fronds reserved (see below)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 shallots, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped to a paste
  • 5 ounces snow peas, trimmed and julienned
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup Toasted Lemon Breadcrumbs, see recipe below
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions

Toasted Lemon Breadcrumbs

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than directed on the package. Reserving 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta well. Set the pasta and the pasta water aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large deep-sided saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil until it begins to shimmer.  Add the sliced fennel, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden. Remove the fennel from the pan and transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining avocado oil in the pan until it begins to shimmer. Add the sliced shallots and cook until the edges start to get crispy and golden, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the julienned snow peas, season with salt and pepper, and cook 30 seconds. Return the cooked fennel to the pan, and cook, allowing flavors to meld, just about 1 minute. At this point, add about ¼ – ½ cup of the pasta water to the pan and stir to combine.
  4. Working in batches, if necessary, add the cooked pasta to the pan, a drizzle of olive oil, and toss to combine. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, add the parsley and fennel fronds, and continue to cook, tossing occasionally about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add more pasta water as needed for desired sauce consistency. Turn off heat and add parmesan and toss to combine.
  5. For the breadcrumbs: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the  breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cook , stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, garnish with toasted lemon breadcrumbs, dollops of ricotta cheese, fresh sliced scallions, fennel fronds, a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and serve.

Hungry for more? Try another Bobby Flay pasta recipe:

Brown-Butter Pasta with Mushrooms and Squash

Toasted Zucchini Pasta

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce