Serves 4. Preparation time 10 – 15 minutes. Cooking time 15 minutes.
170g watercress, washed and dried
1 large or two small fennel bulbs, cut into 12 wedges
1tbsp olive oil
280ml single cream
2 ½ – 3 tsp cornflour
125g vegetarian dolcelatte, cut into small cubes
3 tsp dried fennel seed, finely ground
to taste salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g tagliatelle, cooked according to the packet ready to serve warm
Preheat the grill to high. Roughly chop the watercress and set aside. Brush fennel wedges with olive oil. Place onto a grill pan and grill, turning occasionally, until softened and slightly charred – about 10 – 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the cream and milk in a small saucepan. Remove 2tbs and put into a small cup or jug and mix in the cornflour until smooth. Heat the rest of the cream and milk until hot but not scalding.
Put the cubed dolcelatte in the liquidizer with the cream and cornflour mixture and the ground fennel seeds. Pour over the hot cream and milk mixture and whiz until the sauce is smooth. Return to the pan.
Heat the sauce, stirring all the time, until it comes to the boil. Immediately turn down the heat and continue to simmer, still stirring, for about 1 minute until the sauce has thickened. Add the chopped watercress and bring the sauce back up to temperature. You can add little more milk if the sauce seems too thick. Season to taste and pour sauce over the cooked taliatelle
Portion into 4 large pasta dishes and top with grilled fennel. Serve immediately.