Pasta with Sardines – Pasta con le sarde

It is a recipe typical of western Sicily, but common to the whole island. Among the many variations there is the one using tomato sauce instead of saffron. A hasty version also exists: the pasta is seasoned in the saucepan, let rest for about ten minutes then served.

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 14 oz. bucatini (hollow spaghetti)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh sardines
  • 3 small farmer fennels
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small bag of saffron
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 oz. of fillets of anchovy in oil
  • 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 2 oz. raisins
  • 2 oz. blanched
  • almonds
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • salt
  • pepper TT

Clean and wash the wild fennel; then boil in abundant salty water. Strain ( reserving some of the water) and shred finely. Bone the sardines, and flake them. Slice the onion and brown in a saucepan with the oil and the minced anchovies. Add the pine-seeds, the raisins ( which must have been soaked in warm water and then squeezed), the wild fennels and the sardines. Mix, sprinkle with some wine, add salt, pepper and the saffron dissolved in 1/2 glass of lukewarm water. Let the jiuce thicken, combine the ingredients. Keep warm. Cook the bucatini in the reserved vegetable water; cook al dente, drain and toss in the saucepan with the seasoning. Transfer the pasta to a baking-pan, buttered and sprinkle with breadcrumbs; spread the chopped almonds and bits of butter and baker for about twenty minutes. The pasta with sardines flan is excellent also served warm.

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