Super-veg pasta

Prep: 10 mins - 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 6
Get two of your five-a-day with this deliciously versatile sauce

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal323
  • fat6g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre6g
  • protein12g
  • salt0.45g
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  • 2 red pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    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
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell 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



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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Comments (38)

Gerlache's picture

This went down really well with the whole family (4 kids aged 2 to 12), and even my fennel-hating husband said he would happily eat it again. I followed the recipe the first time, but am about to adapt it to the veg I have in the house today (I wouldn't leave out the peppers or the fennel, though). We just ate it straight last time, but I think it would work well with prawns, chorizo, etc, as suggested by others.

usyins1804's picture

Had never liked fennel until this! Tasty & easy, didn't take too long to put together either - good with additions as recommended prawn, chicken or olives. Freezes well.

caryntay's picture

We love this pasta! One of our favourite to make. The capsicum is the star of the dish! Grilled and peeled, they are a juicy addition to the sauce.

carla-j's picture

I found the amazing fennel flavour went very well with fresh grilled mackerel. Delicious, will definitely be making it again!

iceteabar's picture

Made it today. After reading previous comments I added some red wine, less stock, didn`t have fennel but what I got in the end was really delicious. Best pasta I have ever made.

signeh's picture

Changed the recipe a bit from what I had at home, so I added chorizo and red wine (as per comment below), and skipped the fennel and stock (because I didn't want to puree it and it was liquid enough as it was). Also used fresh chili instead of crushed, and oregano. Absolutely delicious!

abcdefghijord's picture

Made this today and it was lovely! I added half a glass of red wine for a bit of extra flavour and thyme and oregano and we loved it. Even great for mixing with lean mince meat! I did find that I put too much stock in so may reduce it in future to reduce cooking time as it took me a good hour and a half from start to finish, but definitely a keeper!

Trinicook1's picture

not the quickest pasta sauce I have ever made and I have discovered I'm not the biggest fan of the fennel flavour...for healthiness you cant really beat it

cr-dennis's picture

Lovely and tasty,a big big hit with my 2 year old and was fast to make. The only thing i changed was adding some olives but next may try with prawns or chicken strips.

annando's picture

This is one of the family's favourite meals!! We have it at least once a week. We love the taste of the fennel and the kick from the chilli! Fabulous!!

louisasmith's picture

This is a firm favourite in our house and enjoyed by my (veg-hating) husband and 2-year-old daughter.

I think the quantity of stock in the recipe is way too high so I always halve it and I tend to use water instead of stock anyway - there's plenty of flavour from the fennel and basil.

I like to add prawns to the sauce - very tasty!

msmooo's picture

This is really easy and very flavourful recipe. First time using fennel, but glad
I gave it a try. This recipe will be used often.

healthyy12's picture

Delicious, very healthy, easy to make and the whole family loved it!!

danievj's picture

I'll just leave out the chillies, my little one's taste bud are extremely sensative.

isayer's picture

Really tasty and simple dish. Might make it a soup next time"

kyra9682's picture

Delicious and very easy! I blended the whole sauce and added zucchini, mushrooms, prawns (and grilled peppers). Next time I'll freeze some sauce though, as point 2 took a bit longer than I expected: not a problem on a Sunday morning, but on weekdays?!?

Trinicook1's picture


absolutely agreed. I felt it took longer than suggested in the guidelines..which is recipe for a mid week disaster

swisskaz's picture

Yummy!! My husband & I loved this sauce. My kids ate it & didn't complain! I only left a spoonful of the veg out before whizzing it & i'll probably blend some of the peppers next time in it as one my kids was picking them out. Had enough sauce for 2 meals but kids only had one helping.

robinintheuk's picture

This was fabulous. We didn't have a stick blender so we just skipped that part. Really lovely flavour. However, we used passata and two fresh tomotoes instead of the canned tomatoes and put a bit of grated parmesan on top. Next time will add olives and mushrooms, I think... Even the Wondespouse who is not much of a vegetarian loved it. Will definitely make again.

nikki1973's picture

delicious, will definitely make again


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Tips (1)

anneparis's picture

I add chopped mozzarella and mushrooms, serve it with tortellini instead of spaghetti, and top with lots of fresh basil to serve. It is absolutely delicious - now one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes!