Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bacon Fennel Sauce for Pasta

Still finding interesting things to do with the veggies in the farm share. Fennel is not a vegetable that I purchase often. It has a very strong licorice like taste. The dried seeds from the plant are frequently used in Italian sausages.
Bacon and Fennel Sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound center cut bacon chopped
1  small bulb fennel, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine

In a saucepan, coated with cooking spray heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp.  Add the fennel, onion, garlic, bay leaf, crushed pepper and fennel seeds; season with salt and pepper to taste. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel and onion are softened. Stir in the tomato paste, then the tomatoes and white wine. Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Transfer the sauce to a food processor or blend and puree. Return the sauce to the sauce pan. Great served over pasta or meatballs. If the sauce is a little to thick for your liking you can thin it slightly with pasta cooking water.
We served it with whole wheat pasta and meatballs.
Adapted from EveryDay with Rachel Ray January / February 2013

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