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Summer Fennel and Zucchini Pasta

A delicious and simple summer pasta recipe using in season produce and fresh ingredients, perfect for an easy lunch or dinner!

Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Australian, Italian
Keyword Easy Vegan Dinner, Fennel Pasta, Seasonal, Summer Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 500g packet of organic pasta I used spirals
  • 5-6 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 bulbs fennel topped, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 medium zucchini diced into 1-2cm pieces
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves (reserve some for serving)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 4-5 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare all vegetables as per ingredient list above, make sure to reserve some 'hair' from the fennel tops for serving

  2. In a large heavy based pan (I used a cast iron pan, they are amazing!) heat two tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat, add in the wedges of fennel and the garlic cloves

  3. Cook for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally until each side is golden brown and caramelised

  4. Meanwhile, add a pot of water to the stove and bring to the boil (for the pasta)

  5. Heat a small pan over a medium heat and add pine nuts, gently stiring for about a minute until lightly toasted, remove from pan immediately to prevent further cooking and set aside

  6. Once the fennel and garlic have caremalised, remove from pan and set aside

  7. In the same large pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the chopped tomatoes and white wine stir well to combine

  8. Mince or finely chop the caremalised garlic cloves and add to the pan along with some torn fresh basil leaves and the tomato paste

  9. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and allow to cook until the tomatoes are soft and have lost their shape (about 5-10 minutes)

  10. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to packet instructions, do not overcook pasta as you will be adding it to the sauce

  11. Once the tomatoes are soft, use the back of a wooden spoon (or even a potato masher) to mush the tomatoes into a sauce, add a little water if needed

  12. Add the diced zucchini to the pan and continue to cook stirring occasionaly until the zucchini is soft (5-10 minutes)

  13. Once zucchini is cooked through, taste sauce and season with salt and pepper as desired

  14. Once pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato sauce along with the spinach, stir through until pasta is well coated and spinach is wilted

  15. Serve pasta in bowls topped with caremalised fennel wedges, toasted pine nuts, torn basil leaves, fennel hair, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice

Recipe Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.