Chicken Ragu with Fennel

Chicken Ragu with Fennel
  • 4Servings


  • 2 - 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seed (about 1/2 palmful)
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/2 small bulb fennel, finely chopped, plus a few tablespoons chopped fronds for garnish
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped, plus a few tablespoons chopped leaves for garnish
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high. Stir in the fennel seed. Add the chicken and cook until browned and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped fennel, celery, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and half-and-half. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the ragu while the pasta cooks.

Salt the boiling water, then cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving half a mug of cooking water. Stir the cooking water into the ragu, then toss the pasta with the ragu and 1/2 cup of the cheese; season. Garnish with the chopped fennel fronds and celery leaves. Serve with more cheese.