Recipe Sicilian-Style Pasta with Sardine, Wild Fennel and Saffron

MypinchofItaly

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Serves 4, Preparation 40 minutes, Cooking about 20 minutes

  • 400 g long pasta, bucatini or spaghetti or linguine
  • 400 g fresh sardines or sardines in oil
  • 2 bunches of fresh wild fennel
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 50 g raisins, to soak
  • 3 fillets of desalted anchovies in oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste in a tube
  • 1 onion
  • A pinch of saffron powder: 0.15 g to dilute or saffron pistils about 30 threads to dilute
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Breadcrumbs, to taste
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons


Method

In a small bowl, soak the sultanas in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze and dry them, set aside.
Dilute the saffron powder in a small cup of lukewarm water for about 15-20 minutes, set aside. If using saffron threads, dilute them in a small cup of lukewarm water for about 40 minutes. Cover and leave to infuse, little by little you will see the water turn into a deep yellow.

Boil the bunches of wild fennel in boiling salted water for about 10-15 minutes, drain, chop it up and set aside, keeping the cooking water in which to cook the pasta later.

If you use fresh sardines, debone them, cut them in half lengthwise, rinse them under water to remove any residue, dry them with absorbent paper and set aside. You can also cut them into chunks.

Chop the onion and brown it in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of EVOO, add the desalted anchovy fillets and let them melt. Add pine nuts, toast them for a few minutes, then add the raisins and a tablespoon of tomato paste, stir well.

Add the sardines, raise the flame and brown them on a high flame for 2 mins, lower the flame, add the chopped fennel and diluite saffron, mix everything, adda ladle of the cooking water, a pinch of pepper and cook everything for about 8-10 minutes.

Toast the breadcrumbs in a saucepan with a little oil, set aside.

Bring the water to the boil and cook the pasta, drain it ‘al dente’, add it to the pan with the sardines sauce, mix well, add the toasted breadcrumbs on top and serve.
 

mjd

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I've never had fish made with pasta. My mother made fish every Friday (Catholic) with veggie spaghetti but I never had them mixed like this. Very interesting! Thanks for posting it.
 

MypinchofItaly

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I've never had fish made with pasta. My mother made fish every Friday (Catholic) with veggie spaghetti but I never had them mixed like this. Very interesting! Thanks for posting it.

And this dish is even more special because there is a sweet element from the raisins and also from the saffron. I've been thinking about making this pasta dish for a while and today I finally had the time to do it and I enjoyed it. Not everyone likes it because of the combination of ingredients, but I love it!
 
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