I modified the fantastic original recipe by adding the fennel seeds and the basil to add a flavor backbone. While you must try the original recipe – which is outstanding due to its sumptuous simplicity – this variation provides an interesting alternative. The slow-cooked sauce with the gentle fennel flavor adds a cool nuance to an already perfect recipe. (Of course, this assumes you enjoy the fennel flavor.) I have also considering smashing or pureeing the cooked onions and adding it to the sauce. The recipe takes time but it is completely worth the patience. Guaranteed, you’ll be thrilled with how accomplished you’ll feel when you taste this. —Arvind Jaggi
Canned San Marzano tomatoes with juice
Medium onion, sliced thin
Basil leaves, torn
1 1/2 teaspoons
In This Recipe
1. Melt butter is a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add fennel seeds. Sauté and stir for a minute.
2. Add the canned tomatoes with the juice, salt, and place the onion halves upside down. Cook uncovered on a low flame for 40-45 minutes.
3. Make sure to stir and mash the tomatoes with the back of a ladle every few minutes. The sauce should have a creamy consistency when done with signs of the fat appearing on top.
4. Remove the onion halves, check for salt and stir in the basil leaves before tossing the sauce with your favorite al dente pasta. Of course, serve with generous sprinkles of freshly grated parmesan.