Fun to make (and even more fun to eat!), this recipe grew out of my love for ravioli (the bigger the better!) and for fragrant, versatile fennel. The richness and depth of flavors belie the fact that there’s only 1 tablespoon of oil and very little added salt in four servings. It’s healthy, delicious, and family-friendly too, as each person can pitch in to make their very own giant-sized triangular ravioli.
Here’s a photo of the Chicken, Olive, and Asiago Triangolari With Sherry Braised Fennel below.
1 lb ground chicken
1 small yellow squash, finely grated & squeezed dry (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup)
4 Tbsp chopped green olives (about 20 - 24 olives)
3 Tbsp grated Asiago cheese
1-1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp white pepper
(**1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, if needed)
1 large (or 2 small) fennel bulb(s)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1/3 C sweet Sherry (see Cook’s Note)
2 Tbsp raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
3/4 C water
1 can chicken broth
12 egg roll wrappers
Fennel fronds for garnish
In a mixing bowl, gently combine the first seven ingredients (through white pepper.) (**Note: The olives and cheese may provide enough salt; cook and taste a small amount of the mixture before adding any additional salt.**) Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors mingle while you prepare the fennel.
Cut off the tough green stalks of the fennel just above the white bulb. Reserve a small handful of the feathery fronds for garnish; roughly chop one of the green stalks and set aside. Trim the base and slice the white bulb into 1/4 inch pieces, discarding the tough core.
In a heavy lidded skillet or saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the sliced fennel and pine nuts, stirring frequently, until the nuts are toasted and the fennel has begun to caramelize (about 5 - 7 minutes.) Add the Sherry and let the alcohol cook off for a minute, then add the raisins, salt, white pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
**Note: This dish can be made ahead to this point**
In a wide, shallow non-stick pan, heat the chicken broth with enough water to equal a 1 inch depth. Add the rough-chopped green fennel stalk and simmer gently while you prepare the triangolari.
In the mixing bowl, divide the chicken mixture into quarters. Use these as a guideline: each quarter will be the filling for three triangolari.
On a lightly floured surface, lay out an egg roll wrapper in a diamond shape (with the lower point towards you.) Cut across the center from left to right, making two large triangles. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, wet the edges of both triangles with a little cool water. Put the chicken mixture on the lower triangle, forming and flattening it out slightly into a roughly triangular shape, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Lay the other pasta triangle on top and press the wrapper lightly around the filling to push the air out, firmly sealing the edges all around as you go. Use the tines of a fork to further seal and flute the edges. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
Remove the green fennel stalk from the broth and discard. (Add more water if needed to return liquid to 1 inch depth.) Bring the broth to a gentle boil and slide 3 - 4 triangolari into the pan, taking care not to crowd them. Cook them in the simmering broth for 5 - 6 minutes, turning once.
Lift them out carefully with a slotted turner. Remove to platter and keep warm while cooking the remainder. Don’t discard the broth when finished.
Reheat the braised fennel and add 2 - 3 Tbsp of the broth (which will be thickened from the cornstarch on the wrappers) to the sauce. Stir thoroughly and heat through.
To serve: Mince the reserved fennel fronds. Spoon a little of the sherry/fennel sauce onto the plate. Mound 1/4 of the braised fennel on one side and lay three triangolari in a row, slightly overlapping. Drizzle any additional sauce on top and sprinkle with the minced fennel fronds.
Makes 4 Servings (3 triangolari and 1/4 of the braised fennel per person)
Fennel is sometimes mis-labeled as ‘Anise’ in produce departments.
Eggroll wrappers are not exactly square, so you may get a better fit by reversing one of the triangles after cutting.
If you don’t have Sherry, Port is a good substitute, or you can use diluted brandy (or a white wine/brandy mix) with a pinch of sugar added. To make it non-alcoholic, you can use a tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar diluted with 1/4 cup of water.
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