Sardine and fennel pasta

Preparation time : 10 mins Cooking time : 30 mins Servings : 3
  • 400 g fennel bulb
  • 3 x 120 g tinned sardines in oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil - for frying
  • 1 medium onion - finely diced
  • 3 anchovies
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • ¼ cup sultanas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts - optional
  • 300 g pasta - spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelli

Remove the fronds from the fennel bulbs and save those for a salad.

Drain the sardines from the oil and roughly break the fish up with a fork and set aside.

Dice the fennel bulb, heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the fennel until tender and golden (about 15 mins). 

Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil. 

Add the onion to the same pot (add more oil if needed) and fry over a medium heat until soft but not browned. 

Add the fried fennel and fry for a minute or so.

Add the anchovies and break up with a wooden spoon. 

Add the chilli flakes if used and give it all a good stir. 

Once the water has boiled add the pasta and cook until just al dente. 

Drain the pasta (keep some of the water) and set aside.

Add the sultanas to the fennel and a ladle of the pasta cooking water. 

Cover and simmer for 10 mins. 

Add the sardines and continue to cook uncovered until the sardines are warmed through. 

Add the reserved pasta and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and stir to combine.

Season with salt and ground black pepper. 

Serve, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts (optional).

Originally created for and paid by The Sunday Times Food Weekly. Used with permission. 


Bacon wrapped sardines

These are perfect for a light snack.