Pasta with sardines


  • 400g~1 Lb. Bucatini (or thick spaghetti if bucatini are not available)
  • 400g~1 Lb. fresh sardines
  • 2 handfuls of  wild and fresh fennel fronds
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 2 or 3 salted anchovies
  • 30g~ 1 oz. sultanas
  • 30g~ 1 oz. pine kernels
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato concentrate
  • 1 sachet of saffron
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Wash the fennel and boil in salted water. After 10 minutes take it out and chop finely.Keep the water for cooking the pasta later.

Chop the onion finely and sweat gently in some olive oil until soft using a large frying pan with lid for this.

Add the anchovies, the pine kernels and the tomato concentrate. When mixed well together add the sardines, the wild fennel and the sultanas.

Splash with white wine, burn off the alcohol and break up the pieces of sardine and anchovies with a wooden spoon.

Add the sachet of saffron, a little salt and pepper and leave to cook for about 10 minutes with the lid on.

The sauce should not get too dry, but be moist. In the meantime, cook the pasta and, when ready, add to the sauce in the frying pan.

Mix well and serve with a glass of chilled white wine.

Additional Tips

Sultanas as I have found are an Italian golden raisin and in Sicily there are several kinds. I can’t get them around here. I just use golden raisins. Maybe someone can explain to me a different ingredient to use.

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