Pasta with sardines

pastawithsardinesToday,  I want to introduce you a recipe that you can only taste in Sicily. I am discussing about the pasta with sardines, one the tastiest recipes to try in the wonderful Italian island. This dish is often prepared at the restaurants in the districts of Catania and Palermo and it is regarded as a real milestone of the Sicilian cuisine. To make it, you need wild fennels, onions, anchovy fillets, fresh sardines, raisins, salt, pepper, pine nuts and “Bucatini”. The latter is a typical shape of the Italian pasta.

pasta with sardines and fennel

pasta with sardines and wild fennel

First of all, you must boil 1 kg of wild fennels in salted water, this vegetable is only in Sicily and it can’t be found elsewhere in the world. Drain the boiled fennels in a colander and press them with the back of a spoon so that they lose all their moisture. Mince and set them aside by keeping the same cooking water. Then fry slight slices of onions in half a glass of olive oil (it would be better the Sicilian extra virgin olive oil) and add 4 salted anchovy fillets. After this step, move to clean and bone 1 kg of fresh sardines. Remove heads and tails, rinse the sardines carefully under the water faucet, cut them in pieces and fry along with the onion mixture.

pasta with sardines and tomato

pasta with sardines and tomato

Add the wild fennels you prepared earlier, salt, pepper, and cook for five minutes. At last, add 50 g of raisins you previously softened in tepid water, 50 g of pine-nuts and a sachet of saffron thinned with a bit of water. Then, cook 600 g of “Bucatini” in the fennel cooking water, drain them when half done and put them to a pan with the sauce. There are two versions of this dish, indeed: the one seasoned with tomato ( see the image) and the one with no tomato. Some people love the dish without tomato because they believe it clouds the flavor of fennels.

The pasta with sardines can also be baked. After boiling the pasta and adding the sauce or not and the mixture you prepared previously, put everything into the oven for further five minutes. This cooking way emits an intense and unforgettable fragrance. If want to try the original recipe, you should prepare the one where pasta boils in a pot. In this case, after transferring the pasta in the pan with the sauce and the mixture you prepared previously, let it finish cooking by mixing continuously. At last, turn off the flame and serve the pasta with sardines. Beware: this is a recipe that must be served tepid or cold. If you want to taste this delicious dish, it is better you go to Sicily very soon.

As I just said in this article, wild fennel is one the main ingredients of this dish and since it is only in my island, it is needless you prepare pasta with sardines with no fennel. To tell the truth, there is another version of the pasta with sardines with no fennel, called “pasta with sardines to the palinas”.  Fennel, instead, is used to better flavour the recipe. However, the taste of wild fennels is unmistakable and what you can feel when you eat this dish is absolutely unforgettable. To make the pasta with sardines even more savory, I suggest that you sprinkle a bit of tasty Sicilian cheese on it, such as pecorino or caciocavallo.

6 thoughts on “Pasta with sardines

  1. Pingback: What to see in Marettimo and how to reach the Island

  2. Amy

    Greetings! Really helpful advice on this article!
    It’s the little changes that make the largest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. Darell

    I needed to thank you for this great read!! I undoubtedly loving
    every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to have a look at new stuff you post.

  4. Pingback: Castelmola, a small and silent village for your honeymoon

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