Pasta with Sardines
45 minutes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup dried currants, raisins, or golden raisins Use ½ cup for a sweeter pasta
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • pinch saffron (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ medium-sized fennel, bulb cored + diced, fronds roughly diced, stalks discarded. (You should have approximately ¾ cup of diced fennel bulb.) See Recipe Notes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 8 ounces Amanhecer sardines.

Prepare Wine Mixture:

  • Heat wine in a small saucepan (or in the microwave) until it begins steaming (but not boiling).  Remove from heat.

  • Add currants, red pepper flakes, and saffron (if using) to the wine.  Set aside.

Prepare Breadcrumbs:

  • Add 1 TB olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.

  • Add fennel seeds and breadcrumbs, and stir until breadcrumbs are toasted and the spices are fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).  Remove breadcrumbs from pan and set aside.

Prepare Pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add the bucatini.

  • Boil until al dente (about 6 minutes). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and remove pasta from the heat.

Prepare Pasta Sauce:

  • Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in the large pan.

  • Add the diced onion, fennel bulb (not fronds), and salt.  Cook about 8 minutes, until the onion and fennel have softened.

  • Add garlic and anchovies, and stir until the anchovies dissolve (about 2-3 minutes).

  • Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the reserved wine mixture to the pan, and simmer until most (but not all) of the wine has boiled off.  (Stir often.)

  • Add the pine nuts and sardines.  Stir gently for about 2 minutes, or until the fish is heated through.  Remove from heat.

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