Pasta with sardines alla Palermo is a typical dish of Sicilian cuisine , a recipe that cannot be tried at least once in a lifetime. Fish-based first course, it is an inexpensive preparation with a unique taste, which derives from the mix of ingredients used, all aimed at enhancing the flavor of the sardines.
It goes without saying that there are numerous variations of Sicilian pasta with sardines – from Trapani and Catania are just a couple – but how it is worth trying them all. Maybe starting right from this, a gem of Sicilian gastronomy, which is prepared right at this time of year - from March to September, to be precise - when fresh sardines are more readily available.
The original recipe of pasta with sardines
Pasta with sardines is a simple but tasty recipe. There are those who combine breadcrumbs , otherswith raisins and pine nuts , but basically it remains a common first course, coming from poor cuisine also given the use of a rather cheap fish.
The ingredients of Sicilian pasta with sardines
Indispensable ingredients , in addition to the sardines, which obviously must be very fresh, are wild fennel , saffron and of course pasta . Which format to use? Currents of thought are different, but the most common wants bucatini .
- 400 g of bucatini
- 800 g of fresh sardines
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch of wild fennel
- A few pistils of saffron
- 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon of raisins
- Extra virgin olive oil
Preparation of pasta with anchovies
- First, boil the fennel, then drain and chop them with a knife. Clean the sardines by removing their bones, heads and tails and wash them well.
- Fry the finely sliced onion in a little oil, add the sardines and mix well trying to obtain smaller pieces.
- Lastly add the fennel and saffron, pine nuts, raisins and salt. Let it flavor.
- Meanwhile, heat the water. Once boiling, throw the pasta and let it boil.
- Drain it al dente in the pan and complete the cooking by adding a ladle of water from cooking the bucatini.
Variant: alternatively, you can cook the pasta directly in the water in which you boiled the fennel and add the saffron to it, to obtain an even more decisive flavour. There are those who, in the end, also combine toasted breadcrumbs in a pan. Pasta with sardines can also be made with the Thermomix recipe.
If you feel like it but don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen, a dispassionate advice: use the ready-made sardine and fennel pesto . Satisfied desire and zero fuss in the kitchen.
Pasta with sardines Palermo-style, the video
Who but chef Natale Giunta could give us further suggestions for preparing pasta with sardines? In the video he prepares it to perfection, take a look to understand all the tricks.
Pasta with baked Palermitan sardines
If you prefer, you can make pasta with sardines in the oven : once ready, season it with part of the anchovy sauce, then arrange half of it on a pan greased with oil, leveling well. Create layers of pasta and dressing and finish with the sauce. Bake in a hot oven for 5-6 minutes.
Photo Credit | Stijn Nieuwendijk