Though this is not a traditional sauce, the wild array of flavors has a distinctly Sicilian tang
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fennel bulb, cut into thin julienne strips
2 small red onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings
4 garlic cloves, slivered
1 1/4 teaspoons herbes de Provence
10 plum tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, seeded and chopped
two 3-inch strips orange zest removed with a vegetable peeler plus 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
18 picholine olives (or other green olives), pitted and chopped
18 niçoise olives (or other black olives), pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers, packed in vinegar and brine
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Stir in the fennel, red onions, garlic, and herbes de Provence, and cook, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft and golden brown.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and strips of orange zest, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until tomatoes have formed a sauce. Discard the orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Mince together the basil, parsley, olives, and capers.
4. Toss hot pasta with the 2 teaspoons of grated orange zest, then with the tomato sauce, then with the basil mixture. Serve immediately.
Though this is not a traditional sauce, the wild array of flavors has a distinctly Sicilian tang. We like it best on spaghetti or any long, dried pasta. Makes enough sauce for 1 pound dried pasta