1 3/4 cups
canned tomato puree
coarsely chopped anchovy fillets
extra virgin olive oil, plus
extra virgin olive oil
garlic clove, minced
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
chopped wild fennel
( may substitute fennel fronds or 1/4 t. ground fennel seeds)
crushed red pepper flakes
( a pinch or two)
coarsely ground fresh pepper
homemade unflavored breadcrumbs
- Heat oven to 350°; bring a big pot of water to a boil.
- 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.
- Toast the bread crumbs by heating the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small saute pan.
- 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.
- Transfer immediately to a small bowl; set aside.
- When the tomatoes have been in the oven for 25 minutes, generously salt the boiling pasta water and drop in the spaghetti.
- Cook, stirring often, to parboil, about 5 minutes; drain spaghetti, reserving ½ cup water.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven; toss the spaghetti on top of the tomatoes.
- Add ¼ cup reserved cooking water and toss together; there should be plenty of moisture in the dish.
- If not, add a tablespoon or more pasta water and toss again.
- Bake for 5 minutes until bubbly and hot; serve right away with toasted bread crumbs sprinkled on top.