This is a really lovely sauce for pasta - sophisticated and surprisingly simple to make. It goes well with spinach ricotta tortelloni. By cooking fennel you lessen the intensity of the aniseed taste, so the longer you cook it, the more subtle the flavour.
Makes approx 400ml - enough for 6 servings
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium fennel, roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 leek, just the white end (or one small onion), sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup vegetable stock
250ml oat or soy cream
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
salt & pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the fennel, garlic and leek and cook very slowly until they are very sweet and soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer the fennel mixture to a blender or food processor and add the heavy cream and 1 cup vegetable stock. Puree until smooth, then return the mixture to the pot, season with salt and pepper and stir in one Tbsp nutritional yeast. Simmer over low heat to thicken the sauce a little for about 10 minutes.
Serve as a pasta sauce, garnished with some chopped fennel leaves or rocket.