Home » Pasta with sardines (Original Sicilian recipe)

Pasta with sardines (Original Sicilian recipe)

The scent of Sicily on your plate

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Pasta con le sarde (ricetta originale siciliana)

The true and original recipe of the pasta con le sarde. A dish that passes through history and cultures that dominated Sicily, illuminated by the contrast between the sweet raisins and aromatic fennel, softened from the ' fatness’ Golden sardine and saffron. You will also find the VIDEO RECIPE step by step on my You Tube Channel (to which, If you like, You can also subscribe).

The essential ingredients for pasta with sardines

The peculiarity and difficulty of original pasta recipe with sardines at palermo is just finding the wild fennel, a spontaneous aromatic grass mountain, that in Sicily is widespread in various culinary preparations. If you do not find it and still want to try making pasta with sardines can use the green parts of the fennel common herbaceous: will not have the same flavor nor the same color, but it is the only surrogate can. Here in Rome, Actually, It is quite difficult to find even sardines (I find them on a regular basis just to market in piazza San Giovanni di Dio) and you may have to replace them with anchovies: replacing unfortunately is little valid, because it is very different from the meat texture. Try at least to choose larger anchovies you find.

If you were to find the Sardines, also try the famous SARDE A BECCAFICO and the SARDINES GRATIN IN SICILIAN OVEN. And also the SARDINES STUFFED WITH BUFFALO MOZZARELLA will give you satisfaction. Of course you can always use anchovies as well. And if you don't know the difference, read my article on ANCHOVIES AND ANCHOVIES, HOW TO COOK THEM AND WHAT DIFFERENCE THERE IS’.

In Palermo is also used to cook a little pasta in the oven already topped, like a timbale: confess that not very much appreciate this variant because the bucatini (which are the pasta of choice for this recipe, although many prepare spaghetti with sardines) not perfectly keep cooking, being empty inside, and for me the pasta is essential. I recommend, Also have a look at all my SICILIAN RECIPES and my RECIPES WITH BLUE FISH, good, healthy and affordable. Have a good day!


Pasta con le sarde (ricetta originale siciliana)


Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


400 g of bucatini

400 grams of sardines

250 grams of mountain fennel

a tablespoon of tomato paste

4 anchovy fillets in oil

30 grams raisins

30 grams pine nuts

1 sachet of Saffron

half an onion

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil, to taste

of peanut oil (frying), to taste

stale bread crumbs, to taste


Pasta with sardines (Sicilian recipe)

First of all, look at the VIDEO RECIPE so you'll have clear the process. For the pasta with sardines to Palermo, Clean and wash the wild fennel. Boil them in salted water for about 15 minutes: drain and set aside keeping the cooking water.

Clean and bone the sardines, including the small central spine, open it like a book. Chopping onions, put it in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and let it wither, then add the anchovies and mash them well until they dissolve in the hot oil.

At this point, Add the pine nuts, the raisins, the tomato paste. Add the sardines and searing. Add the chopped fennel and the sachet of Saffron diluted in a tablespoon of hot water. Add some wild fennel cooking water. Cook for about 10 minutes. Only at the end, and only if necessary, add salt.

In a hot frying pan, brown the bread crumbs with a little olive oil, until golden and crunchy.

Boil the pasta in the cooking of wild fennel, seasoning salt if necessary. If necessary, lengthen with additional water. Drain the pasta al dente and season with the sauce of sardines. Sprinkle the pasta with sardines with fried bread crumbs and serve. If you want, You can also garnish with some fried Sardinian. Bon appétit!


OPTIONS: Palermo is often used to make pasta with sardines in timbale, or cooked in the oven and abundantly covered with toast crumbs. It 'a variant that I do not love, but it is very practical if you want to prepare the dish in advance: In this case, boil the pasta less than the cooking time indicated by the pack and leave the softer sauce, so that cooking in the oven does not dry too. It takes just 10 minutes to heat oven to 200 degrees and 5 minutes grill that is formed on top of a nice golden crust.
There is also a variant of the pasta with sardines Palermo (still fairly widespread) made without the tomato concentrate (in white).
Finally, there is another version called "pasta with sardines in the sea", It realized without sardines but only with the fennel.

MATCHING: We recommend a Sicilian wine. We chose it from one of the largest cooperative wineries on the island: La cantina White Dove. The wine that we suggest is the "Prince of Granatey - Cricket", product with the vine Grillo 100%. It smells of tropical fruit that goes well with the decisive aromaticity of wild fennel. The palate has a good acidity, suitable to degrease the grease of the seasoning of this traditional Sicilian first course.

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Samantha 25 May 2018 - 15:06

Great recipe! Followed step by step, really great! I recently tried, instead, Already prepared a preserve of pasta with sardines, that allowed me to save a lot of time in the kitchen! I'll linko, magari provandola anche tu ci puoi dare un parere 😀 bioveganfood.it/pasta-con-sarde-in-olio-extravergine-d-oliva-da-primi-piatti
You're a great <3

Ada Parisi 28 May 2018 - 11:41

Thanks Samantha, I do not know the brand of which you speak, and I honestly do not use ready-made products, as you will have seen by reading the site, but if I were to see her around I'll give it a chance. A warm greeting. ADA

ANDREA ARENA December 28, 2013 - 17:45

I found that my friend's mom cooked by the superlative, same ingredients of the recipe of Ada, with the addition proposed by Gabriele, though in very small quantities. Were single portions in tubs of aluminum and, curious thing, the bucatini seemed “pressed”, any of you knows something about?

Sicilians creative in the kitchen December 28, 2013 - 20:21

Ciao Andrea! I think it's a tradition of Palermo. My mother says that in Palermo do aluminium trays if you take away, or in trays at home, and then the press well before you put it in the oven, with the dressing to which mentioned Gabriele in ample quantities, otherwise the juice inside is likely to dry out a bit. I don't, to put it in the oven, because the pasta continues to cook and for me the fact that it is al dente, indeed more than al dente, It is essential and if you really drains them too raw bucatini struggles to ' force them’ in a pan. I prefer fresh! Hug, ADA

Irfan Malik January 19, 2013 - 14:50

great, excellent!!! I do like that!!!

fratelli_ai_fornelli January 19, 2013 - 15:23


Gabriel June 19, 2013 - 00:24

If I may : After you add the dressing to the pasta , storing everything in a casserole that duly goes in the oven and more specifically in the top shelf near the grill that once propelled , in just 5 minutes , will give an effect with chestnuts at the top of the dough.
the pasta is served along with the toasted bread crumbs!!!
to toast the breadcrumbs, put oil in a pan and melt a drizzle or two anchovy fillets , now add the bread crumbs and just before the fire add a generous sprinkling of sugar, stir the bread crumbs that will now crystallised sugar…
turn off the heat and put the bread crumbs in a small bowl to bring to the table
PS: seasoning I'll add even 4/5 capers

conunpocodizucchero.it January 16, 2013 - 16:13

He thinks I'm a milanese married a Sicilian and none of her family never wanted to give me the recipe for pasta with sardines! Good thing there's you! Grazieeeeeee

fratelli_ai_fornelli January 16, 2013 - 17:00

The recipe for pasta with sardines is sacred! 😉


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