Pasta with Creamy Fennel Sauce

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 40 min.


6 servings

Updated: Apr. 24, 2022
When pureeing fennel one day, I realized its velvety texture would make for a creamy, delicious pasta sauce—without all the guilt. My experiment worked, and now I enjoy this good-for-you pasta sauce all the time. —Deb Schwab, Moraga, California
Pasta with Creamy Fennel Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 large fennel bulbs
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) fresh butternut squash ravioli
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon; reserve, discarding the rest of the tops or saving for another use. Core and slice fennel bulbs. Peel and cube potato. Slice shallot; smash garlic cloves and peel.
  2. Place vegetables, milk and broth in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid; cool slightly. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, cream cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  3. Process in a blender or food processor until pureed. Return to Dutch oven. Stir in parsley and reserved fennel fronds; keep warm.
  4. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain. Toss with sauce. If desired, top with additional Parmesan.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Pressed for time? Make this sauce ahead of time and refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave; toss with cooked pasta.
  • To easily remove garlic skin, smash the cloves with the flat side of a chef's knife. The skin will peel right off, and the smashed cloves will be ready to cook.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 serving: 309 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 690mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 5g fiber), 12g protein.