This recipe comes from a friend, Vincent Di Fiore and has been tweaked by my son and I for our cookbook, "Deliciously Italian." Vincent is an accomplished musician, playing trumpet and keyboards in the world-famous pop group, Cake. He remembers making this dish with his father after they picked wild fennel during a family trip to his hometown of Bagheria, Sicily. Note: If you can't find perciatelli, spaghetti works fine, but the former has a pinhole through the strand which helps absorb the sauce. —Federico_
1 large bunches
extra virgin olive oil
medium onion, diced
can achovy filets, drained
can sardines, drained and diced
heaping tablespoons, pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Spaghetti or perciatelli (see note)
In This Recipe
Boil the fennel greens in a large pot of water until tender. Remove and cut up into small pieces with scissors or chop in blender. Save the fennel flavored water.
Heat oil in a medium skillet and saute the onions and anchovies until the onions are translucent. Add the sardines, pine nuts and salt and pepper Add the cut up fennel greens to the sardine mixture with a little of the saved water to give the sauce a desired consistency. Simmer over very low heat until the pasta is ready.
Boil the pasta in the remaining saved fennel water. Drain the pasta through a colander then return to empty pot mixing in half of the sauce and stir. Serve each individual pasta dish with more of the fennel sauce on top and/or pass additional sauce separately.