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In a saucepan that is about 2/3 full of water, pour a spoonful of rock salt or table salt. As soon as the water boils, add the wild fennel and stew for about 10 minutes.
Peel and slice the onion.
Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a pan. Put it on the stove, pour the minced onion and the entire clove of garlic. Fry over low heat, then add the sliced salted anchovies to make them melt in the sautéed, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove the clove of garlic, first add the extract and then the tomato puree and make everything blend together.
Drain the cooked fennel with a fine mesh strainer or a perforated spoon, leaving in the pan the water that will be used to cook the pasta. Squeeze well to express surplus water, put on a cutting board and cut into small pieces with a knife. Pour the fennel in the sardine sauce and add the sfodelina and the cleaned and cut asparagus. Mix well and adjust salt.
Bring the cooking water of the fennel that has been put aside to boil in the saucepan and pour the spaghetti. While the pasta is cooking, preheat the oven to 180°. Put a drizzle of olive oil and the breadcrumbs mixed with a spoonful of sugar in a baking tray. Toast well in the oven and put aside. As an alternative, you can toast the breadcrumbs in a small pan.`
Drain the pasta when it is cooked al dente and put it again in the saucepan used to cook it. With a ladler, add about half of the sardine and fennel sauce, mix well to blend everything together. Put the pasta in the dishes, pour the rest of the sauce on it and, finally, sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs.
In the farming culinary tradition, breadcrumbs are usually defined as the “poor man’s cheese” as it is used to season a lot of dishes that would have required expensive parmesan/grana padano cheese.