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Roasted Fennel Marinara Sauce

I make large batches of this sauce and freeze it in pint sized containers for quick and easy workday dinners. Add some sausage or boneless chicken breasts and dinner is ready in about 20 minutes.

1/2 head fennel sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season

In a large baking pan toss the fennel slices with the olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees F until the fennel is fork tender. Remove from oven and puree in a food processor or food mill. (If fresh fennel is not available try substituting 2 tsp crushed fennel seeds in the sauce.)

In a large saucepan sauté for 1 minute
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small red onion finely diced

Roasted fennel puree
2 large cans (32 oz can) crushed roma tomatoes
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 whole bay leaf
1 large carrot finely grated
½ cup finely diced celery
2 tbsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper to season

Slowly simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf .

Meanwhile cut
4 boneless skinless chicken breast into large cubes

Saute the chicken in

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic

Until the chicken is cooked and slightly browned. Toss in

1/2 chopped red pepper

Add the chicken to the sauce in the last 5 minutes or so of the simmering time. Serve over freshly cooked penne pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

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katie meals

Monday 16th of March 2015

Looks like will be a hot :p

Le Chef Secret

Friday 12th of September 2008

Yes it does have a very mild licorice flavour; even milder in this sauce but it does combine well with the tomato and herb flavours and is not overwhelming at all. Thanks for reading, Barry.

Cassandra W

Friday 12th of September 2008


I am just wondering what fennel tastes like? I looked it up & it said a licorice flavor?

I look at your recipes all the time & some of them are very intriguing! I am hoping to make some soon :)



Le Chef Secret

Thursday 11th of September 2008

Thanks, Trish. I couldn't agree more about the taste of fennel in the sauce. I think it is an excelent addition to a good marinara sauce.


Thursday 11th of September 2008

This sounds delicious. I'm ready for fall and winter cooking and love the idea of having something easy to fall back on when we've had a "day" at our workplaces. I am saving this recipe and hope to make soon. I recently started using fennel in marinara sauces and it really does add a unique taste to the sauce.

TrishOmaha, NE

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