Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel
This recipe was shared with us by a New York City-based opera singer and creative home cook. We like to serve this pasta topped with a little shaved bottarga, the dried salted roe of tuna or gray mullet; a sprinkle adds a briny, salty note that beautifully offsets sweet, oven roasted plum tomatoes.
Yield: serves 2
- 1 lb. plum tomatoes
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bulb fennel, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 3 fresno chiles, finely chopped
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> lb. spaghetti
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Bottarga (optional)
- 1 cup toasted bread crumbs
- Heat oven to 250˚. Core and halve tomatoes lengthwise; scoop out seeds. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, 1 tbsp. oil, sugar, salt, and pepper; toss. Arrange tomatoes, cut side down, on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet; roast until very soft, about 3 hours.
- Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel; brown for 10 minutes. Add onion; cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add chiles; cook for 2 minutes. Chop and add tomatoes; set skillet aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Strain, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta water. Add pasta and its water to tomato mixture; toss. Put skillet over high heat; add parsley and remaining oil; cook for 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated bottarga and bread crumbs.
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