PASTA CON LE SARDE
This dish epitomises Sicily and all its jumbled, eclectic culinary influences. The sweet sultanas, nuts and saffron are pure Moorish, the fresh fish is 100% salty Mediterranean and the pasta is of course Italianissimo. Our rather wonderful anchovy and caper pesto is the perfect final complement to the complex flavours.
- 100 g Breadcrumbs
- 50 g Capers
- 50 g Anchovy fillets
- 1 medium Onion
- 120 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
- 50 ml White wine
- 8 Sardine fillets
- 30 g Sultanas
- 30 g Pine nuts
- pinch Saffron
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- 300 g Spaghetti
- Toast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan over a medium heat, until they are quite a dark golden brown. Take care not to burn them.
- Heat half the extra-virgin olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Sauté until softened but not coloured, then add the wine and bubble it up to let it evaporate.
- Mix the chopped capers and anchovies into a paste and then add them with just enough water to make a sauce, and bring everything back to the boil.
- Add the sardine fillets, sultanas, pine nuts, saffron and soaked fennel seeds. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if necessary, stir and cook for 10 minutes.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, add salt, then put in the pasta and cook for about a minute less than the time given on the packet, so that it is al dente.
- Drain, reserving some cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sardine sauce, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce, and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs.