Pasta recipes

Pasta with sardines. Sicilian recipe

Pasta with sardines. Sicilian recipe


  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 2.2 € / person
  • 290kcal per 100g.

How to make pasta with sardines.

A few years ago I have been following the writer and cooks Mark Bittman , since I saw the chapters of ” Spain … on the road Again ” with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali.

Now I am a faithful follower of the section of  The New York Times where he publishes cooking videos weekly. In one of them he hooked me with a Sicilian recipe adapted to the pantry of any house and a classic was born at home, pasta with sardines or pasta with sarde .

Fresh ingredients, chives or onion, lemon and parsley, well integrated with two ingredients from a good can of preserves, sardines in olive oil and anchovies, mixed with a long pasta, in this case fusilli lunghi from Garofalo and with a touch of luxury , pine nuts and raisins.

Here you have a perfect dinner to eat with yours, prepared in a few minutes and where everyone will enjoy equally, children and adults.

An attractive combination of Italian dry pasta with natural ingredients from southern Italy, improvisation and originality to eat delicious at home.

Preparation of the sauce with sardines and anchovies

  1. Pour the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and while it is heating, peel the chives and cut thin.
  2. We add them to the casserole and leave to cook until they catch a golden color, about 10 minutes over low heat.
  3. Add the raisins that we have previously hydrated in a little hot water. This way they will release part of their juice and provide the sweet touch of the recipe.
  4. Chop the anchovies very thin and add them to the casserole.
  5. We join the pine nuts with the rest of the ingredients, stir well until they have a little color and release part of their oil.
  6. Add the canned sardines and some fennel seeds.
  7. We add a little of the pasta cooking water (since we are preparing both at the same time) and sometimes, to enrich the dish, a little white wine.
  8. Add a few strands of saffron and fry everything little by little for another ten minutes.
  9. Season with a pinch of salt (remember that the anchovies and sardines already have salt, do not overdo it either) and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. We manually squeeze the lemon and stir everything well, bringing together flavors.
  11. Stir for a few minutes without breaking the sardines and remove from the heat. We reserve to combine with the pasta.
  12. We only have to brown the breadcrumbs, a task that requires our full attention since it can burn.
  13. Chop the fresh parsley and in a clean frying pan add the breadcrumbs, two dessert teaspoons of sugar and the parsley.
  14. We remove everything and as soon as it has a golden tone we remove from the fire, with two or three minutes it is more than enough.

Preparation of the pasta. Cooking

We must start making the sauce about ten minutes before cooking the pasta, so in 25 minutes everything would be ready.

  1. The sauce always has to be ready before the pasta, you should always wait for the pasta and not the other way around.
  2. The pasta that is usually used for this recipe are usually bucatinis (a kind of thick noodles the length of spaghetti or noodles) or busiates (form of long corkscrews), but I leave it to your choice, I have already prepared it with macaroni and spaghetti, the result is just as good.
  3. We heat in a saucepan a liter of water for every 100 gr. of our chosen pasta, the recommended measure per person. These proportions, which are normally indicated on the packaging, help the paste not stick together.
  4. And always try to use a large casserole, the largest in your kitchen. If you cook pasta many times it will be very useful to buy a casserole for those occasions, a good investment.
  5. When it begins to boil in spurts we add 1 generous handful of salt, one level tablespoon for every 200 grams of pasta and fennel seeds, or fresh fennel if you can buy or pick it up from the field. Then we add the pasta, always all together.
  6. We remove with a wooden spoon so that it does not stick and is loose.
  7. On the back of the pasta package comes the cooking time, we must be guided by these instructions because for each type it is different, in this case it is 12 minutes.
  8. So we will get what is called pasta “al dente” or at its right point, that is, it does not pass, although a great tip is to try it almost at the end just in case the package deceives us.
  9. Once the time has elapsed, drain the pasta immediately, put everything together with the accompaniment le sarde and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Simply delicious.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for pasta with sardines . Do not miss any detail so that it is delicious.

Tips for a pasta with yummy sardines

  • I advise you to spend a little more money on the purchase of pasta because its quality and how you prepare it is decisive in the result of the recipe. I recommend Garofalo, it is always a hit and there is a recipe for yummy.
  • This recipe can also be done in the oven. With the sauce and pasta prepared and together we spread a baking tray with oil and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and toast to cover the pasta. We place in the oven preheated to 180º C for about 5 minutes with the gratin on top. We will be left with a delicious crust and a plate ready to eat.

A little history about this recipe

  • Pasta cche sardi,  in Sicilian, is a traditional ancient dish from the city of Palermo, the capital of Sicily in the northeast of the island. Unite Arab and Italian influences by transforming simple ingredients into a dish worthy of a king’s table.
  • I did not know that this recipe was so famous and browsing the Italian cookbooks that I have at home, I discovered a nice story.
  • Legend has it that it was created by the cook of the Arab general Eufemio, who landed in Sicily to conquer the island, and had to feed the troops by cooking what he found on the island.
  • The original dish is prepared with pasta, which can be of different types, fresh sardines and fennel. It also contains olive oil, onion and pine nuts. You usually add a little anchovies to give even more flavor.
  • They say that the dish that was served at the Eufemio table also had some strands of appreciated saffron to give color, raisins called  passoline, black and very small, to give it a sweet touch and pine nuts, which they said were good for indigestion and pains in the belly, because the sardines used to be cooked a little overdue.
  • As always, this dish has its variants throughout the island, for example in Catania (western Sicily) anchovies are used instead of sardines.

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