Bacon and Fennel Penne

I had a “favourite food” challenge for my gastropost mission a few weeks ago. Clearly this was a tough challenge, because I love my gut and I love food!! I sent a few different meals into the paper, and this is the one that was chosen! I must say, I am NOT a huge fan of ANYTHING that tastes like or resembles black liquorice… But this was absolutely amazing – the fennel adds a whole new level of flavour but it is also not over powering. I went for a second bowl!

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Bacon and Fennel Penne

serves 3


-3/4 lb catelli smart penne

-1 tsp salt

-Bacon, chopped. Amount of bacon is up to you- I LOVE bacon, so i used a whole pack of bacon…

-1/4 of a bulb of fennel, chopped

-1 onion, chopped

-5 cloves garlic, chopped

-6 leafs of basil, chopped

-1/4 bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

-1/2 tsp crushed chill flakes

-1 tbsp tomato paste (try looking for tomato paste in a tube @ your local grocery store.)

-28 oz of boiled and crushed tomatoes (you can used canned crushed tomatoes)

-1/2 c white wine

-1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in a half cup of warm water

-small handful of parmesan

-Fresh basil leaves for garnish


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne, boil until cooked through.

In a large non-stick frying pan, add your bacon and cook over medium high heat. Cook until slightly crisp. Then add in your fennel, onion, garlic, chill flakes, salt and pepper (for taste) Reduce heat to medium. Cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes or until fennel is soft. Add the tomato paste, basil, parsley, and whole tomatoes, Crush your tomatoes with a potato masher to incorporate nicely into the forming sauce. Stir in the wine. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Add the 1/2c of starch water to the pan. Turn heat to low, let it thicken up, stirring every so often. Add penne to the bacon fennel sauce, mix. Add your parmesan cheese and basil garnish, and serve!

Oven Fried Asian Chicken Drumsticks

I don’t normally eat meat off the bone (Not a huge fan for some reason..) but these were too good to pass up. A nice oven fried crispy outer shell and a juicy tender inside flavoured to perfection… Excuse me, I’m drooling…



-10 chicken drum sticks

-1/4c EVOO

-1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, divided (some for garnish)

-3 tbsp hoisin paste

-1″ nub of ginger, peeled and minced (1-1.5 tbsp)

-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

-1 tbsp dark soy sauce

-2 tbsp soy sauce

-1 tsp-1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (to your desired spice level)

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp fennel seeds

-2 cups panko crumbs

-1/4c butter cut into small squares and rolled in flour


preheat your oven to 425 fahrenheit.

Mix the scallions, garlic, ginger, hoisin, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, cinnamon, fennel seeds and EVOO in a large plastic freezer bag. add chicken drums and marinate in the fridge for 5 hours or over night.

Take the chicken out of the fridge. bring to room temperature. add the panko to a large bowl. Individually bread each piece of chicken and place on a greased slotted baking dish (to make sure the juices drip to the bottom of the pan so the chicken stays nice and crisp.) Place in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is up, pull the baking pan out, flip the chicken over and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Place the marinade ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add the flour coated butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Let simmer until chicken is finished. (about 10-15 mins.)

once chicken is done, pour a little sauce over the chicken drums, sprinkle the remaining chopped scallions over top and serve. I served with corn and rice mixed in with the chicken sauce. mmmmmmmmmm!!