Roasted Fennel, Tomato & Bean Pasta Sauce

Fresh fennel and tomato are made for each other, and for pasta. Fresh fennel is absolutely delicious raw, thinly sliced in salads. Its crunchy and sweet with a aniseed flavour which pairs perfectly with a zingy lemon dressing and lots of black pepper. But when you roast fennel, its a completely different thing. The sweetness caramelises, the aniseed flavour is still there but it’s muted, and the texture is gorgeous, it softens in the best way, a little like roasted onion. Mix with the richness of roasted tomatoes, lots of garlic and olive oil and you’ll be in flavour-heaven! Fennel and tomato pasta is a simple, rustic classic, often served with sausages, but we love it with butterbeans.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin butterbeans, drained
  • a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • extra virgin olive oil – to taste, we recommend at least 6 tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked pasta to serve


  1. Turn your oven on to 200C. Chop up a fennel bulb and tumble into a wide roasting dish. Drizzle generously with 4 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands and place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or so until softened.
  2. Remove the dish from the oven and add the tin of tomatoes, crushed garlic and the drained tin of butterbeans. Mix well.
  3. Scatter over the fresh chopped tomatoes, drizzle with 2 more tbsp olive oil and season again with salt and pepper. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or so until rich and bubbling.
  4. Meanwhile cook your pasta. Then drain the pasta, stir through the sauce and enjoy!