His Highness loves fennel, anise, tarragon and all things licoricy. I can't even stand the smell. Vows and rings can't compare, it is my supreme show of love to bring James bags of Dutch black licorice (salted, sweet, gummy -- all kinds) or make a pasta dish like this one.
While the water came to a boil, I sauteed 8 anchovy filets in about 1/2 cup of olive oil, mashing the fish to a paste as they heated. Then I tossed in 1 thinly sliced bulb of fennel, one thinly sliced onion, and a pinch of crushed red pepper and cooked over medium heat until just soft (about 5 minutes). Next went in two chopped tomatoes, 1/4 cup of pine nuts, and 1/4 cup of golden raisins. The sauce simmered over low heat for about 5 minutes.
Before I drained the pasta I took one cup of the cooking water and added in 1/4 tsp of saffron threads, then added the saffron liquid and the pasta to the sauce and allowed to cook (tossing with tongs) over low heat until the spaghetti was well coated with the fennel mixture. To serve, instead of the usual cheese, I topped the pasta Southern Italian style with toasted bread crumbs for a bit of welcome crunch.
I love you Honey.