A Quick and Easy Southern Italian Pasta Dish.
There are many many recipes out there for this classic Southern Italian pasta dish – Pasta con le Sarde or Pasta with Sardines. I don’t have access to fresh sardines and make it with those that come in a tin. I also do not claim any kind of authenticity for the way I make it. I’ve taken the basic ingredients and adapted them to my particular taste.
For instance, I increase the quantity of freshly diced fennel normally called for in most recipes. Why? Because I love fennel. Same thing goes for the amount of anchovies commonly used. I use more because I think the additional amount balances the flavor of the sweet fennel and raisins. It’s the combination of the fish, pine nuts, golden raisins, onions, saffron, and crispy breadcrumbs that make this recipe such a winner.
Diced onions and fennel are cooked in olive oil before adding the golden raisins, which have been soaked in vermouth with a pinch of saffron. I use a rather large pinch because I not only love the color, but think saffron’s subtle, yet distinctive flavor adds complexity to the overall dish.
I also think golden raisins are so much better in this than normal raisins. I once made it with regular raisins and think they’re too deeply sweet for this recipe.
All I can say is this is my rendition of Pasta with Sardines. It’s not authentic, but it’s the way I like it. Feel free to adjust the specific amounts of the ingredients to your liking.