Pasta con le sarde w/ rigatoni

Pasta con le sarde w/ rigatoni

Translating to pasta with sardines, this dish transports me instantly to the seaside eatery in Sicily where i first encountered it. A true revelation it is my go to dish when camping for its simplicity or as a one pan wonder for entertaining. All the ingredients are staples in my pantry so they are always on hand if i need to pull out a delicious dish at short notice. Using good quality tinned sardines and anchovies are crucial so i recommend Ortiz if you can get them. I always keep my stale sour dough bread to make the breadcrumbs but panko crumbs are a good substitute.



1x 400gm pkt Duro Rigatoni

2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2cup sourdough or panko breadcrumbs

1 pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)

1x bulb Fennel diced (keep some fronds from the tops)

1x med brown onion diced

2x 140gm tins good quality sardines (eg. Ortiz)

1x 47.5gm tin good quality anchovies in olive oil (eg. Ortiz)

1x clove garlic minced

50gm pine nuts

50gm golden raisins (or raisins)

1gm saffron threads soaked in 1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)

1/2cup dry white wine

1x lemon quartered

Grana Padano or parmesan to serve

Salt flakes and cracked pepper for seasoning



Toast the breadcrumbs in a large frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil, season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper and add the chilli flakes if using. When the breadcrumbs are golden and crunchy put aside in a bowl and return the pan to the stove.

Strain the sardines and break into quarters or large pieces.

Add the Rigatoni to 4 litres of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Strain, reserving some of the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking place the anchovies and their oil into the fry pan, add the fennel, onion, garlic and cook until soft and translucent. The anchovies will break up and dissolve into the mix.

Add the white wine, saffron, golden raisins and pine nuts, when the wine has reduced by half add the sardines trying not to break them up too much.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan with a few tablespoons of the cooking water and toss to combine, season with salt and pepper and serve into bowls.

Serve topped with the toasted breadcrumbs, Grana Padano, fennel fronds and wedges of lemon.

Serves 4

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