Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pasta with Roasted Fennel-Tomato Sauce

This is an easy and delicious pasta recipe that involves one of my favorite vegetables: fennel! And roasting fennel is one of my favorite ways to prepare it, so this dish is pretty much amazing. It's also a nice dish because it reheats really well the next day. Next time I might add some Italian sausage, browned in a separate skillet and tossed with the pasta just before serving.

I'm sending this recipe off to Presto Pasta Nights. Be sure to check out the other entries at Family, Friends, & Food on May 15, and don't forget the creator of Presto Pasta Nights, Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.

Pasta with Roasted Fennel-Tomato Sauce (adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper)

2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 T whole fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 can (14 ounces) whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 pound shells or another smallish pasta

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the fennel, onion, garlic, chili flakes, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper with the olive oil in a roasting dish and roast, tossing once or twice during cooking, for 15 minutes.

2. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until almost al dente. Reserve some pasta cooking water when you drain the pasta.

3. After 15 minutes of roasting, stir in the crushed tomatoes. Roast 5 to 10 minutes more, until the fennel is tender and starting to brown.

4. Toss the drained pasta with the veggies and Parmesan, adding some pasta cooking water if necessary until the sauce is loosened and coats the pasta. Serve immediately, with more cheese.


  1. Sara, this shell pasta look really scrumptious!

  2. That looks so lusciously good, you're making me drool! :)

  3. That dish looks wonderful! Thanks for sending it into PPN!

  4. It does look lusciously good! Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables too. In fact, I use it instead of celery most of the time.

    Thanks for sharing this one with Presto Pasta Nights.

  5. The sauce sounds wonderful with roasted fennel. Sorry to hear about your technical difficulties, by the way.

  6. Wow, sounds and looks pesto.

  7. Sounds delicious. I love roasted fennel

  8. Lovely recipe! Fennel goes so sweet when roasted, it almost candies itself... yummy! The tomato sauce must be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the fennel. Thanks for sharing this recipe :) I hope your computer is back soon :)