Recipe: Tomato, Fennel and Parmesan ‘Spauce’

If you couldn’t tell from the post title, I struggled a little bit for what to call this delightful condiment. I’m sure there must be some name for it in Italian, but I don’t know what it is and what extensive research I conducted (read: 5 minutes while cooking dinner) yielded nothing. So I named it a ‘spauce.’ Sometimes sauce. Sometimes spread. Always really, really delicious.

I love making spauces like this to pair with dinners. They can make anything that seems overly plain — say, a filet of fish and a vegetable — seem much more fancy. Any leftovers can be spread on bread, tossed with pasta, eaten with other veggies, or reheated and served alongside other meats, like chicken.

In last night’s case, I took a bunch of dry farmed tomatoes (we’re at the height of the season, people!), and slow cooked everything together with caramelized onion, fennel, garlic, and white white. The result was a thick, chunky spauce that paired perfectly with black bass filets. We have a little bit leftover, and I already know what I’ll be eating for lunch today. It’ll taste perfect on some crackers, and alongside a bowl of soup!

This one takes a little time and attention, though in principle, it’s extremely easy to make. Here’s what I did:


  1. 8.21.12

    YUMMMMM! Pinning now!

  2. 8.21.12
    Eleanor said:

    Ha, I love the concept of a “spauce”! This looks delicious, and I can easily make it vegan! Score.

    • 8.21.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      Yep, that was the idea. :) Recipes for all!

  3. 8.21.12
    Christin said:

    you’re seriously killing me with the CA produce. it is hands down, the thing i miss most about home. east coast produce is so underwhelming…

    • 8.21.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      Whaaa? Isn’t the Union Sq Greenmarket supposed to be fantastic??

  4. 8.21.12
    rita said:

    mid-west produce is equally underwhelming. i need to get to whole foods and try these dry tomatoes immediately!

  5. 8.21.12
    Alyssa said:

    Holy cow, this looks delicious! Fennel was one of my favorite ingredients to cook with when I was abroad in Florence (I took a cooking course and they used it constantly!) but I’ve been uninspired with ways to get it into dishes since coming back. I can’t wait to try this out!

    The Glossy Life

  6. 8.21.12

    Spauce! I love it!
    I have yet to find a successful sauce that suits my fancy. I’ll give this one a go!

  7. 8.21.12
    Angie said:

    This looks delicious! If you like the idea of spauce, look up caponata…That’s what we italians refer to spauce is. HA. I really enjoy Giada DiLaurentis’ version of caponata. It’s fantastic if you like eggplant.



    • 8.21.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      CAPONATA. That is the term I kept thinking of yesterday but could not
      articulate. THANK YOU.

Comments are closed.