Sardines “a beccafico” – Sarde a beccafico

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • Aprox. 2 lb. of filleted sardines
  • 5 oz. of breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp of grated pecorino cheese
  • (parmesan a substitute)
  • 3 1/2 oz. of anchovy fillets in oil
  • fresh parsley 1/2 bu.
  • 1 oz. of pine
  • nuts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 oz. of raisins (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1/2 orange
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper TT


Stir-fry the breadcrumbs and put them in a bowl. Then add the raisins, softened in lukewarm water and drained, the pine nuts, the anchovies melted in oil, minced parsley, the pecorino, salt and pepper. Mix all these ingredients together adding oil if necessary.
Wash and dry the sardines; add salt to the sardines and put on each sardine a little of the bread crumb mixture. Roll them up forming little roulades and put them in an oiled baking-pan, among them put some bay leaves and slices of lemon. Sprinkle the roulades with lemon and orange juice and trickle some oil. Spread the remaining breadcrumbs on the roulades and bake them for 15 minutes.


In Catania another version of this recipe is very popular: the filleted sardines are soaked in vinegar. On half of them they put a mixture of breadcrumbs, grated pecorino, chopped garlic and parsley, beaten eggs, salt and pepper, then they cover each fillet with the remaining ingredients. Dip every couple of fillets in the beaten eggs and then in the flour, fry them in hot oil. In Messina the fried couple of fillets are braised in a covered pot in a sauce of tomatoes, onion and parsley.

Sardines “a linguata” – Sarde a linguata

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 lbs. of filleted sardines
  • white vinegar
  • flour
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Wash and dry up the sardines; put them in a bowl and cover with vinegar and soak for 30 min. Drip dry them on paper towels, flour the fish and fry in hot oil, add salt only at the end.

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.