Spicy Tomato Sauce with Fennel, Peppers and Onions
- 1/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced with seeds or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cubanelle peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 pound pici, bucatini, perciatelle or spaghetti
- Pecorino cheese, grated, for topping
Heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add fennel, chili and garlic, and stir 3-4 minutes. Add onions and peppers, season with salt, stir and cook 5-6 minutes more, partially covered. Stir in tomato paste until fragrant, 1 minute, then add wine and reduce a minute or so. Add tomatoes and break them up with a potato masher. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, partially covered.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and cook pasta to al dente. Just before draining, reserve half a mug of starchy water.
Drain pasta, combine with sauce and add a little starchy cooking water as needed.
Serve pasta in shallow bowls topped with cheese.
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