This recipe is an amalgamation of Mark Bitman’s pasta with sardines recipe and the classic Sicilian dish Pasta con le sarde. The original Italian dish includes fresh fennel, raisins, and anchovies. My family is not quite so daring, so I kept it to one source of canned fish and opted out of the raisins as not to scare my Lebanese parents and I just didn’t have fennel on hand. Not a traditional dish, but just as delicious as it was inspired by tradition.

The What: 
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumb
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 can sardines packed in oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Pasta of choice

 

Begin by placing a large pot of water over high heat in preparation for the pasta, salt generously.

Place the saffron in 3 tablespoons of hot water and set aside.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry toast them until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for one minutes. Add the breadcrumb and keep frying, stirring constantly until golden brown and crunchy. Remove the toasted crumbs and set aside.

Place the same frying pan back on the heat, add the 1/4 cup of olive oil, onions, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft and translucent. You don’t want to brown the onions, just soften them. This will take some time, be patient, don’t rush the process.

By now the water should be boiling. Add the pasta. I made this dish with linguini, because that was the closest thing I had to bucatini at home (bucatini being the commonly used pasta for this dish).  Place the timer to 2 minutes less than the package instruction as the pasta will continue cooking the the pan with the sauce.

Add the saffron water to the frying pan. Add the pine nuts and sardines. Break the sardine up into large chunks with a fork. Also add the oil that was in the can with the sardines. If you could only find sardine in water, drain them before adding the chunk in the pasta.

Add the lemon zest and parsley to the pan, reserve a few pinches of parsley for decoration. Add another pinch of salt and black pepper.

Add two ladles of pasta water to the pan. Once the pasta timer goes off, add the pasta to the pan using tongs.

Now add two more ladles of pasta water to the pan. Cook the pasta in the pan for the last two minutes. If you find the pasta is dry, add another ladle of pasta water.

Decant the dish into plates, decorate with the bread crumbs and fresh parsley.

 

Sicilian Saffron Sardine Pasta

Sicilian Saffron Sardine Pasta

This recipe is an amalgamation of Mark Bitman's pasta with sardines recipe and the classic Sicilian dish Pasta con le sarde. The original Italian dish includes fresh fennel, raisins, and anchovies. My family is not quite so daring, so I kept it to one source of canned fish and opted out of the raisins as not to scare my Lebanese parents and I just didn't have fennel on hand. Not a traditional dish, but just as delicious as it was inspired by tradition.

Ingredients

  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumb
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 can sardines packed in oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Pasta of choice

Instructions

  1. Begin by placing a large pot of water over high heat in preparation for the pasta, salt generously.
  2. Place the saffron in 3 tablespoons of hot water and set aside.
  3. Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry toast them until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Place the pan back on the heat and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for one minutes. Add the breadcrumb and keep frying, stirring constantly until golden brown and crunchy. Remove the toasted crumbs and set aside.
  5. Place the same frying pan back on the heat, add the 1/4 cup of olive oil, onions, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft and translucent. You don't want to brown the onions, just soften them. This will take some time, be patient, don't rush the process.
  6. By now the water should be boiling. Add the pasta. I made this dish with linguini, because that was the closest thing I had to bucatini at home (bucatini being the commonly used pasta for this dish).  Place the timer to 2 minutes less than the package instruction as the pasta will continue cooking the the pan with the sauce.
  7. Add the saffron water to the frying pan.
  8. Add the pine nuts and sardines. Break the sardine up into large chunks with a fork. Also add the oil that was in the can with the sardines. If you could only find sardine in water, drain them before adding the chunk in the pasta.
  9. Add the lemon zest and parsley to the pan, reserve a few pinches of parsley for decoration. Add another pinch of salt and black pepper.
  10. Add two ladles of pasta water to the pan. Once the pasta timer goes off, add the pasta to the pan using tongs.
  11. Now add two more ladles of pasta water to the pan. Cook the pasta in the pan for the last two minutes. If you find the pasta is dry, add another ladle of pasta water.
  12. Decant the dish into plates, decorate with the bread crumbs and fresh parsley.
http://www.foodosopher.com/sardinepasta/