Rigatoni with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

It's indulgent and creamy and delicious. 

I usually double the sauce recipe and save half in the freezer for later. That way, I'm using up the entire fennel bulb at once. And since this recipe is very time-consuming, by doubling the recipe I am saving a bunch of time on a future night when I don't feel like cooking.

Rigatoni with Sauce

MCT oil
1 cup chopped fennel (about half a medium bulb), white parts only (discard green parts)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup water
1 cup cream
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained of excess oil and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound dried rigatoni

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and drizzle with a little MCT oil. Add the fennel and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, until fennel begins to soften. 

Add water, cream, broth, sun dried tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, until tomatoes are plump and soft. 

Remove from heat and set aside to cool. While the sauce is cooling, now is a good time to boil the rigatoni in a large pot, according to package directions. Puree the sauce in a blender until smooth. When the rigatoni is done cooking, drain in a colander (do not rinse) and return to the pot. Add the pureed sauce and toss to coat. Allow to sit for about 4-5 minutes: the sauce will thicken a bit and soak into the rigatoni. 

Credit to the September 2009 Costco Connection magazine for this fabulous recipe.