Awesome “Marathon” pasta sauce


We have a very small kitchen and no dishwasher, so I’m a big fan of recipes that use just one pot. Or at least not more than two.

Marathon means “fennel” in old Greek, so what better way to carbo load than eating pasta with this fennel-based tomato sauce? Serves three ravenous runners.

The recipe is simple, but some ingredients may require going to the store. The key is fennel seeds and tarragon, which go very well together. The sauce is inspired by the Norwegian pizza franchise Peppe’s.

First I chopped all the vegetables.  I fried four onions in olive oil in a huge oven proof pot, and then added: four italian anchovies in oil, which I mashed, and four garlic cloves. I let it fry for a short while. Then I added, in order, a pound of minced pork, four carrots, one fennel root, one whole bottle of cheap red wine, six tomatoes, a pinch of fennel seeds, salt pepper.

I reduced the sauce to a thick consistency, put a lid on the pot and put it in the oven at about 160 Celsius for two hours.

Top with a big handful of fresh tarragon and serve with pasta, and grated parmeggiano.

I’m sharing it because it’s one of the easiest and most delicious dishes I’ve ever made. The combination of fennel seeds and fresh tarragon is just unbeatable.


Olive oil, salt pepper.
Four onions
Four anchovies (the straight Italian kind in oil. Or just use a tiny amount of fish sauce)
Four garlic cloves
Four carrots
One fennel root
One pound minced pork
One bottle of red whine
Six tomatoes
One pinch fennel seeds
Tarragon for topping

PS: This is a picture of the fields of Marathon in Greece, which gave name to the race distance:



4 thoughts on “Awesome “Marathon” pasta sauce

    • Not everyone does, but those are two of my favorite spices. I can also recommend “La cucina” a mammoth cookbook with rustic italian recipes! There are some recipes there to die for!

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