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Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce, from the oven! Oven roasting the fennel, tomato and onion boosts their natural sweetness resulting in an incredibly flavourful, versatile pasta sauce.

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce close up photo of sauce on linguine

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce, from the oven!

Today’s recipe is a  terrific versatile pasta sauce that I love to serve with grilled chicken or lightly sautéed garlic shrimp. This is a perfect no fuss weekend dinner that takes next to no effort, as the sauce is completely cooked in the oven and needs only the occasional stir.

Tomato and fennel are a naturally complimentary flavour pairing. It works so well together in this incredibly easy sauce.

Cut fellel bulb on a wooden background

I think fennel is a much underused vegetable. I love its delicate flavour.

The oven method for this Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce roasts the vegetables to bring out the naturally occurring sweetness within them. The difference it makes to the overall flavour will have you making this recipe again and again.

Not to mention how easy it is! Just toss together all of the ingredients and toss them in the oven for abut an hour.

In the last few minutes of cooking, boil some pasta and grill or saute diced chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal. It’s really as easy as that.

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce photo of sauce on linguine with sautéed shrimp on top

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce, from the oven!

Use this sauce in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce to add a boost of flavour to many pasta dishes. One of our family favourites is to use it in an Italian Sausage lasagne. 

The Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce absolutely shines in that dish. You won’t regret trying it.

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce, perfect for Summer tomato season.

This is also a recipe to keep in mind at the height of the summer tomato season when the best vine ripened tomatoes are most plentiful. Using the proper food safe procedure, you can easily bottle/can this sauce use all year round.

fresh red organic tomatoes on the vine

Vine ripened tomatoes are great for this recipe but you can use the same amount of canned tomatoes out of season if you like.

You’ll really appreciate this Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce when yo can open a bottle and serve with pasta in a matter of minutes. Who doesn’t need more twenty  minute meals for busy weekdays especially?

With the simply sautéed shrimp or chicken, this is the kind of easy meal I serve at the end of a lazy, rainy Saturday afternoon. The kind of meal we love after a day spent watching old movies with the kids.

Add a bottle of chilled Chardonnay for Mom and me and I’d call that the perfect end to a relaxing day.

If you can’t get enough of great pasta dinner recipes, please check out our collection of 20 Best Pasta Dinners!

Best Pasta Dinners photo with title text for Pinterest

Originally published June, 2011.

Like this Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce recipe?

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Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce photo with title text for Pinterest

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Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce close up photo of sauce on linguine
Yield: 8 servings

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Tomato Fennel Pasta Sauce, from the oven! Oven roasting the fennel, tomato and onion boosts their natural sweetness resulting in an incredibly flavourful, versatile pasta sauce.

Ingredients

  • 8 large ripe tomatoes, diced small (or about 6 cups canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 large fennel bulb, diced small
  • 1 medium red onion diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tbsp dried oregano)
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives (optional)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss all ingredients together in a shallow glass baking dish. 
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. The fennel pieces should be very soft and most of the liquid has cooked off. Watch it closely to be sure it does not dry out and burn. If you need to add a little water to allow the veggies to cook fully, that is fine.
  5. The sauce should reach a good chunky consistency.For a smoother sauce, simply puree it at teh end in a food processor or with an immersion blender

Notes

  • About 5-6 cups of canned diced tomatoes can be used in place of the fresh tomatoes, especially when they are out of season.
  • If you can get San Marzano tomatoes, they are always the best for recipes like this.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1 serving (about a cup)

Amount Per Serving Calories 123Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 165mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 3gSugar 9gProtein 2g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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