- 2 red pepper, quartered and deseeded
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 2 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ tsp crushed chillies
Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 600ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- small handful basil, leaves shredded
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
- 500g bag fresh egg pasta, cooked
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Heat the grill and pop the peppers, skin-side up, underneath for 10 mins or until beginning to char. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the flesh into strips.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the fennel, onion and carrot for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, crushed chillies, fennel seeds and tomato purée, cook for 2 mins, then add the canned tomatoes, stock and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins or until the vegetables are completely soft.
Take out a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce (this will later add texture), then blend the rest in the saucepan until almost smooth with a stick blender. Simmer for 5 mins to thicken, then stir in the reserved sauce, shredded basil and peppers. Serve with the pasta.
This sauce freezes well and is really versatile so it’s worth making a double batch, then jazzing it up by adding olives or prawns. Plus, if your children don’t like the vegetable bits, you can just blend the whole thing.