Pasta con Sarde

February 29, 2012
Photo by Photo by Nicole Franzen
Author Notes

I fell is love with this dish some 25 years ago when a restaurant in Manhattan named Siracusa (long gone) had it on their menu. Today, no Italian restaurant I frequent makes this wonderful pasta.
Since I really love it and there are no complicated or hidden ingredients, I've been making it at home and even served it one year for our fish-only xmas even dinner.
It's simple and forgiving and the amounts can be adjusted to suit individual tastes.
Bucatini is the traditional pasta used but it's often hard to find so spaghetti will work fine. —blanka.n

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: FOOD52er blanka.n is a food writer living in New York.
WHAT: A classic Italian seafood pasta with both anchoves and sardines, round out with fennel and a healthy hit of olive oil.
HOW: Not counting the pot you use to boil the pasta, this is a one-dish meal -- weeknight dinner, anyone?
WHY WE LOVE IT: The flavors and textures of this pasta are perfectly balanced, from the bite of the currants to the crunch of the pine nuts. —The Editors

  • Serves 4 - 6
  • 1 Small onion
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Fennel bulb, thinly sliced, reserve fronds
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup White wine
  • 6 Flat anchovies
  • 2 Cans of sardines
  • 4 tablespoons Dried currants or raisins
  • 4 tablespoons Pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds, crushed
  • Dash Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 pound Bucatini pasta
In This Recipe
  1. Saute onion and fennel in a pan large enough to hold pasta. Cook for about 5 minutes, add garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until soft. Add wine and continue cooking. Add anchovies and sardines, breaking them up with wooden spoon. Add currants, pine nuts, fennel seeds and pepper flakes. Continue on very low flame.
  2. Boil pasta til al dente and add to sardine mixture. Add some of the pasta cooking water to create sauce if too dry. You can also add more olive oil and serve with reserved chopped fronds.

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