Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel

Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel
Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel
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.Laura Sant

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.

Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel
Caramelized fennel adds anise-tinged sweetness to this slow-roasted–tomato sauce, while fresno chiles add a touch of mild heat.
Yield: serves 2

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 12 lb. spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Bottarga (optional)
  • 1 cup toasted bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Strain, reserving 12 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.