Start off by boiling water and preparing cavatappi pasta...I love these little swirly noodles...and the ridges hold onto so much more sauce! Heat some olive oil and sautee a sliced bulb of fennel. By the way, I have a new love for fennel. I detest licorice, but the taste is subtle. The recipe also calls for artichoke hearts. It says you can take a frozen package of hearts, thaw them, and then sautee them. I forgot to buy these at the store so I used a can of quartered artichokes. I don't think it was the same, but I chopped the hearts and discarded the leaves.
Then, remove the fennel and toss in some garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
Next, add your sauce of choice. The recipe describes how to make a simple sauce, but short on time, a jar of chunky veggie sauce was perfect! Second mistake...I forgot 15 ounces of ricotta cheese to make this a creamy sauce. Ugh! Instead, I added a couple swirls of heavy cream from last night's stir-fry pasta priavera to thicken it up.
Right about this time, the pasta is just about done so drain and add right to the pot!
Last step, pour it into a baking pan and load it up with Italian cheeses. Everything is cooked so you just need to throw it under the broiler for a minute to get the cheese nice and bubbly!