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Pasta con le Sarde

Pasta con le Sarde is as most likely the most Sicilian dish ever created. Wonderful during the holidays or any night of the week.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, pasta, Sicily
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch about 6 baby fennel bulbs with their fronds
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds fresh sardines cleaned, scaled, deboned, and roughly chopped (or 2 tins of canned sardines)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 3 salt-cured anchovies
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pound pasta bucatini, spaghetti, or linguini
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • toasted breadcrumbs for garnish
  • lemon zest

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the baby fennel and fronds and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and chop; set aside. If you can’t find baby fennel, use chopped fennel and cook with the onion.
  • Heat a large skillet with 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the onions and saute until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and the anchovies and break up with a wooden spoon.
  • Meanwhile, drop the pasta into a pot of salted water and cook until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Add the reserved fennel, raisins, pine nuts, and a ladle of pasta cooking water to the skillet.
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the sardines and continue to cook, uncovered, until the sardines are cooked through. Add the reserved pasta and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with the breadcrumbs and lemon zest.