- 1 pound dried spaghetti or other pasta
- 3 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces California Dried Figs, chopped or minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 large white onion, minced
- 2 anchovy fillets, mashed or minced (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Red chili flakes and extra grated Parmesan for garnish
Combine the water and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just tender – about 10 minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. Add the figs, garlic, onion, anchovy fillets, if using, fennel seed, and black pepper. Sauté until the onions are lightly cooked, about 3 minutes. Add the basil or Italian parsley, briefly stir and then remove the skillet from the heat.
When the pasta is almost cooked, remove ½ cup of the water from the pot and add it to the skillet with the fig sofrito. Return the skillet to the heat and bring the water to a simmer. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted.
Drain the pasta. (Do not over drain the pasta – some water should still cling to the noodles.) Immediately transfer the pasta to a bowl. Add the warm fig sofrito and the grated Parmesan cheese to the bowl. Toss the pasta to coat. Serve immediately. Garnish with red chile flakes and additional grated Parmesan cheese.