How to make it

  • 1. Adjust oven rack to lower center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix bread crumbs with oil and salt to coat evenly. Spread in single layer on small baking sheet. Bake crumbs, stirring once after 5 minutes, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
  • 2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, fennel, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Continue to cook over medium heat until fennel softens, 5 to 7 minutes longer.
  • 3. Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon water to boil in large soup kettle. Add 1 tablespoon salt and spaghetti. Cook until spaghetti is al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water. Return spaghetti to kettle.
  • 4. Add fennel mixture to spaghetti; toss to combine, adding enough reserved water to keep mixture moist. Adjust seasoning. Transfer portion of spaghetti to each of six pasta bowls. Sprinkle each with portion of toasted bread crumbs and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.

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