Pasta with sardines


It is the queen of Sicilian, where "seas and mountains" meet and merge. Pasta with sardines is said to have been "created" by an Arab emir who, having arrived to Sicily with his troops starving, ordered his cooks to collect all food they had found around and to put it in a single dish.

  • Palermo
  • pasta with sardines

First course




For 4 people:

• 400 g bucatini or perciatelli pasta

• 400 g wild fennel

• 400 g fresh sardines

• 1 dl Pachino tomato sauce

• 1 onion

• ½ bag of saffron

• 2 dl extra virgin olive oil

• 1 tablespoon raisins

• 1 tablespoon pine nuts

• 2 fillets anchovies in salt 

• nutmeg

• salt as required


1. Wash and boil the fennel al dente, drain and store.

2. Squam and clean the sardines, remove the head, cut into fillets and remove all bones. 

3. Dip the saffron in a dl of lukewarm water.

4. Chop the onion and brown it in a little olive oil.

5.Add the tomato sauce,  the pine nuts, raisins, a couple of grated nutmeg, the finely chopped fennels and the well-washed anchovies. Mix well. 

6.  Cook with the lid on over low heat for 20 minutes.

7.Add the sardines (keep aside some of them for garnishing) and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off and add the olive oil, mix well. Keep warm.

8.  Coat the filleted sardines for garnishing in soft wheat flour and durum wheat flour. Fry them, salt and keep aside.

9. Cook and drain the pasta, season with saffron and mix; add half of the seasoning and mix well.

10. Cover the pasta with the remaining seasoning and garnish with the fried sardines.