Spaghetti Baked With a Gutsy Roasted Tomato Sauce

By ratherbeswimmin' on June 24, 2007

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    1. 1 3/4 cups canned tomato puree
    2. 4 coarsely chopped anchovy fillets
    3. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus
    4. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    5. 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
    6. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    7. 1/4 teaspoon chopped wild fennel ( may substitute fennel fronds or 1/4 t. ground fennel seeds)
    8. 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    9. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    10. crushed red pepper flakes ( a pinch or two)
    11. coarsely ground fresh pepper
    12. 1/3 cup homemade unflavored breadcrumbs
    13. 8 ounces dried spaghetti


  1. Heat oven to 350°; bring a big pot of water to a boil.
  2. Combine the tomato puree, anchovies, ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, parsley, fennel, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a large ceramic casserole dish; bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the bread crumbs by heating the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small saute pan.
  4. When the oil is very hot, toss in the bread crumbs and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until they are browned a bit, but not too dark.
  5. Transfer immediately to a small bowl; set aside.
  6. When the tomatoes have been in the oven for 25 minutes, generously salt the boiling pasta water and drop in the spaghetti.
  7. Cook, stirring often, to parboil, about 5 minutes; drain spaghetti, reserving ½ cup water.
  8. Remove the tomatoes from the oven; toss the spaghetti on top of the tomatoes.
  9. Add ¼ cup reserved cooking water and toss together; there should be plenty of moisture in the dish.
  10. If not, add a tablespoon or more pasta water and toss again.
  11. Bake for 5 minutes until bubbly and hot; serve right away with toasted bread crumbs sprinkled on top.