YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Tomato & Fennel Pasta Sauce

Two of my favorite things: tomatoes and fennel! This is totally the “sauce of the season,” with fresh herbs and a simple strategy for bringing out the natural sweetness of all the ingredients. If you are not a big fan of pasta, then try cooking some turkey meatballs in this sauce, or pour it over a little pile of tofu cubes, or poach a few eggs in it. Then again you could serve it with a pan of polenta or a bowl of quinoa, or use it to make a tray of lasagna. You choose!

  • 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. vegetable stock or water
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, in ribbons
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

Cut an X into the base of each tomato and then plunge into boiling water for just 30 seconds, after which you should remove it immediately, allow to cool for a minute, and then peel off the skins. Coarsely chop tomatoes and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion, fennel and garlic, cover the pan, and cook approx. 5 min. until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover, stir in tomato paste, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Add salt and pepper, and then simmer 30 min or until it reaches a rich, thick consistency. Stir in the fresh basil and oregano, and serve! Yum! Serves 4.

Many thanks to One Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson for the original version of this recipe!

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