Pasta with Fennel, Olives,
Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

by John Ryan

Serves 2


Even though this recipe is vegetarian, nutritious, and tasty, someone is bound to point out that olives and nuts contain a lot of fat. You've got to shake your head and wonder where our fat-phobia gurus are leading us when they make us afraid of nuts and berries. (Yeah, I know, olives aren't berries, but I think you get my drift.)

Anyway, I adapted this recipe from Annie Sommerville's excellent book Fields of Greens. The sauce is great over pasta; it's also very good over beans.

Finally, try oil-cured olives. You'll find them in jars, probably in the Italian food section of the supermarket. Pitting them is a nuisance, but you only need ten or twelve. Canned black olives look good, but with them you get the fat without the flavor.

  1. Start water for pasta. The sauce takes about 15 minutes, so time the pasta accordingly.
  2. Stir the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Set them aside. Slice just the fennel bulb just like you would an onion. Set aside or throw away the fronds.
  3. Use the same pan to sauté the fennel in olive oil. When the fennel softens, add the garlic. After a minute or so, add the tomatoes and olives. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. (The sauce is basically done, so when the pasta is done you're ready to serve.)
  4. When the pasta is done, stir in the toasted pine nuts and pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss slightly and offer parmesan cheese at the table.


Tomato-Lemon Chicken
Pasta with Fennel, Olives, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

John Ryan

Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.

Just Good Food Archive

Copyright © 1997—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007