Wood Spoon with Tomato Sauce
Add A Bright Burst Of Flavor To Tomato Sauce With One Simple Ingredient
By Kalea Martin
A well-made tomato sauce should have a good balance of flavors, but sometimes, it can turn out bland. To add brightness to tomato sauce, you should be adding fennel.
Fennel can significantly enhance tomato sauce, adding a new level of brightness and flavor. It has a complex flavor, similar to licorice, and a texture like bok choy or onion.
Fennel's distinct yet mild flavor effectively complements and livens up tomato sauce without overpowering it, especially due to the shared sweetness between fennel and tomatoes.
Fennel’s sweetness becomes more prominent when it’s cooked. Notes of citrus come through if you cook with the green part of the vegetable, also called the frond.
Any part of the fennel can be used in tomato sauce. If you plan to use the citrusy fronds, add them toward the end of cooking, as you would fresh herbs like basil or oregano.
When using the bulb or stalk on the other hand, add it at the beginning so it has enough time to tenderize. You can also add a small amount of whole fennel seeds for extra flavor.