Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel served in a small white bowl, with a fork stuck in; photographed from overhead
Mains, Quick and Easy

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel


The other day, I was in a pinch for time and had little left in the fridge other than a bulb of fennel. Did you know that fennel and tomatoes go quite wonderfully together and make a delicious flavor combination? If you did not, you will find out with this Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel dish.

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel in a large red pot with a server being stuck into it

Now granted, this does not look like the most appealing dish ever, but I promise you (as with all recipes on this blog) – it is utterly delicious. It is also rather simple from an ingredient perspective and relies on a lot of ingredients you likely already have at home.

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel served in a small white bowl

You simply fry off onion and fennel in olive oil with a little bit of salt. Once it is almost translucent, you add balsamic vinegar and let it reduce in order to get a really nice, almost caramelized flavor. Add the tomato tin, a bit of water, and the capers, along with salt, some chili flakes, and pepper and let reduce. Stir through cooked pasta and a bit of cooking water and voila – super easy, quick, but yet flavorful and delicious.

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel being pulled out of the pot with a serving spoon

Why Is this Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel Good For You?


Fennel is known as both a culinary plant, as well as a medicinal herb. It has a white bulb, with green stalk and slightly feathery leaves. Both the bulb itself, as well as the seeds taste slightly licorice like, a flavor I personally really dig! Just a side note: I have concentrated on the health benefits of the fennel bulb (the fresh fennel) here, but the seeds have similar benefits, so feel free to include those into your diet as well! Fennels contain vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Manganese is great for enzyme activation, protecting our cells, bone development, blood sugar regulation, and the healing of wounds. Magnesium and calcium also play an important role in our overall bone health.

Fennel has powerful antioxidant properties. It contains mainly antioxidants of the polyphenol kind. These antioxidants have been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent in our bodies. But they may also protect against cancer, are anti-viral, and anti-microbial. Last but not least, fennel contains a good amount of fiber, which – amongst all the other health benefits mentioned – is also excellent for our heart health. A higher intake of fiber has been directly linked to a lowered risk of heart disease. This is mainly due to fiber being able to bind and flush our cholesterol. The potassium found in fennel further supports our heart health as it allows our blood vessels to relax. I have to admit that I was not aware of what a powerhouse fennel is! Be sure to gobble this one up 🤩.

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel in a small serving bowl and a fork stuck in; photographed from a three-quarter angle

How can I adjust this Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel recipe to my dietary requirements?

This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. If you would like to make this recipe paleo, be sure to use a paleo-approved pasta.

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel photographed up close

Similar Recipes on the Blog

There is so much deliciousness on the blog. Be sure to also check out these fantastic recipes:

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel in small bowl with a fork tugged in, being half eaten

And there you have it for this week. I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious pasta recipe. It is a perfect starter into the warmer months. As always, please let me know what you think by either commenting on the post below and/or rating the recipe. I love hearing from you!! Happy pasta-making and ENJOY!

Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel

Recipe by Ann Robejsek
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Main, lunchCuisine: Italian-inspiredDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This Speedy Pasta with Tomato and Fennel is super easy to make and comes together in 30 minutes for either a mid-week dinner or lunch. Enjoy!


  • 300 gr. gluten-free pasta (we used chickpea pasta)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 white onion

  • 1 bulb fennel

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp capers

  • 1 tin chopped tinned tomato (400 gr.)

  • 200 ml water

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp chili flakes

  • Pepper to taste

How to

  • Bring a pot of water to boil with some salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain once done. Be sure to set some pasta water aside
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and let warm up. Cut the onion into small slices. Once the pan is hot, add the onion and cook on medium heat with a pinch of salt
  • Wash and cut the fennel into small slices as well. Add to the pot once you are done cutting. The onions should be translucent by now. Stir everything for a couple of minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar continue to cook and stir until the vinegar has evaporated. Add the tinned tomatoes, then refill the tin to about half with water and add along to the pan. Finally, add the salt, chili flakes, and pepper. Pop on the lid and let simmer for ca. 15 minutes. Your fennel should be slightly tender
  • Once done, add the pasta to the sauce and stir everything through. Stir through some pasta water in order make everything more creamy. Serve with more chili flakes and cracked pepper on top and depending on your dietary preferences, either loads of nutritional yeast or parmesan. Enjoy!

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