Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
A lovely recipe to use your garden fresh tomatoes with! Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly crushed
- 1 pinch saffron, crushed (optional)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 slices orange peel (3-inch x1-inch)
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 lbs ripe round tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 1/4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat 2 tbls. olive oil in a 10" skillet over medium high heat till shimmering.
- Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned around the edges, 4-6 minutes.
- Add garlic, fennel seed, saffron(if using), pepper flakes, and orange peel; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Now stir in the tomatoes and cook till tomato pieces lose their shape to form a chunky sauce, about 10 minutes.
- Remove and discard orange peel. Stir in the orange juice, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
- Toss the sauce and the remaining 2 tbls. olive oil with your favorite pasta and serve! Enjoy!
I didn't have the saffron and I used a bit more pepper because we like things spicy. Very quick and delicious sauce I used on shrimp.
The saffron gave this sauce a smooth and earthy finish. I loved the bit of heat that balanced the sweetness of the fennel and orange. My orange was very sweet, so no additional sugar was needed. And who needs the pasta??? I ate this sauce with a spoon! Use the best olive oil you have to drizzle on before serving.