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Fennel-Pepper Spaghetti


  • Salt

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1 red onion, quartered, then sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced

  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced

  • 1 cubanelle pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 can crushed or whole tomatoes (28 ounces), such as San Marzano

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped

  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter


Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil the pasta. When the water reaches a boil, add some salt and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the package directions, and drain. Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with four turns of the pan of EVOO, about 4 tablespoons. Add the garlic and fennel seeds to the pan while you cut the rest of the vegetables. Add in the onion, peppers and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until the veggies are tender, 6-7 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to the pan (if using whole tomatoes, break them up using a wooden spoon or potato masher). Bring the sauce up to a bubble, season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil and parsley.

Toss the butter and cheese with the cooked pasta, then add the tomato sauce and toss well to combine.