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Pasta con le Sarde "Royale"

Serves 4


  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)

  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup dried currants (or raisins)

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large fennel (with fronds)

  • 4 – 5 shallots or 2 small onions (cut into thin slices)

  • ½ teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed

  • 2 tins of PYSCIS "royale"- drained and each sardine cut into 4 pieces (save the oil)

  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup capers

  • 450 g bucatini pasta


  1. Heat 2 tb oil in a medium pan, then add the breadcrumbs and lemon zest and cook until golden brown and toasty. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. Pour the white wine over the currants and let them soak.

  3. Chop the fennel bulb into ¼-inch dices, setting aside the fronds for garnish.

  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots/onions and cook until transluscent, about 5 minutes.

  5. Increase the heat, then add the garlic and diced fennel. Season with salt, hot pepper flakes, and fennel seeds and cook until the fennel is tender, about 5 minutes.

  6. Add the white wine and currants and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil, season generously with salt, and cook pasta until al dente (according to instructions).

  8. To the other pan, add the chopped fennel fronds, capers, and pine nuts and cook until saucy, adding a few tablespoons of pasta water if needed.

  9. Season to taste with salt.

  10. Scoop the pasta out of the water directly into the pan with the sauce. Increase the heat and toss vigorously, adding ¼ cup or more pasta cooking water if necessary.

  11. Serve in warm bowls. Garnish with fennel fronds and toasted breadcrumbs.


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