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Pasta con sarde a mare - 'pasta with sardines at sea'
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5 from 4 votes

Pasta con sarde a mare - 'pasta with sardines at sea'

A classic, frugal Sardinian pasta dish that's full of flavor.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2
Calories: 659kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


  • 1 bulb fennel small, lots of fronds approx 300g, roughly chop, boil in lightly salted water. Reserve water for pasta
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts 18g - lightly dry fried to toast
  • 1 oz bread 30g (1 small slice), made into crumbs
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic large, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp raisins 22g
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 anchovy fillets finely chopped
  • 7 oz pasta 200g - bucatini if pos or spaghetti, cooked in water from fennel
  • 4 tbsp water from pasta added to the sauce, approx


  • Trim the top and bottom from the fennel and roughly chop. Place it in a pan of water with a little salt, bring to a boil then reduce the het to a simmer. Cook until the fennel is tender, around 10 minutes. Remove the fennel from the water but reserve the pan of water. Allow the fennel to cool slightly before chopping finely.
  • While the fennel is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet/frying pan until just slightly colored and set aside. Use the same pan to toast the breadcrumbs until dry and slightly browned. Set aside and mix through the sugar.
  • Warm the oil in a medium skillet/frying pan and add the garlic. Cook for a minute then add the fennel, pine nuts, raisins, tomato paste and anchovies. Cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, while you cook the pasta.
  • Cook the pasta in the water from cooking the fennel until al dente.
  • Add around ¼cup/4tbsp of the pasta water to the fennel sauce to loosen then add the cooked pasta and mix well so it is well coated by the sauce.
  • Serve with the breadcrumbs scattered over the top.


Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 1270mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 22.4mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 4.8mg