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Three-Pepper and Onion Spaghetti


  • Salt

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed (1/2 palmful)

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

  • 2 cubanelle peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 large onion or red onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Black pepper

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1 can crushed Italian tomatoes (28 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. While the water comes to a boil, heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel seed and stir for 1 minute, then add all the peppers and onion as you chop. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic as you chop and season with salt and pepper. When the peppers and onion are tender, add the wine and stir for 30 seconds, then add the stock and tomatoes. Reduce the sauce for 7-8 minutes more while you cook the pasta. Drain the pasta, drop it into the skillet and toss it with the butter and the sauce. Sprinkle in a little cheese, top with the basil and serve immediately.