By Renée Lasko
Fennel, pine nuts and golden raisins add Mediterranean flare to this briny pasta
As needed Water, salted, for pasta
½ cup Olive oil, divided
6 each Sardines, fresh or canned, roughly chopped
1 cup Onion, chopped into ½” pieces
1 ½ cup Fennel bulb, chopped into ½” pieces (approximately 1 bulb)
4-6 each Anchovy filets, drained and mashed with a fork
1 tablespoon Garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
2 tablespoons Raisins, golden
2 tablespoons Pine nuts
1/8 teaspoon (pinch) Saffron (optional)
¼ teaspoon Black pepper, ground
1 to 1 ½ cup Water, warm
As needed Salt
6 ounces Pasta, whole wheat
Method of Preparation:
1. Gather all ingredients and equipment.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add sardines to pan, sautéing just until they begin to turn golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pan and return to medium heat. Add fennel and onions and cook until soft, approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Return the sardines to the pan and add the anchovies, garlic and tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, for approximately 5 minutes or until the fish has broken down and melted into the sauce.
6. Add the raisins, pine nuts, saffron, black pepper and water. Reduce the heat and sauté for approximately 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Keep warm until pasta is ready to serve.
7. When pasta water is boiling, add pasta and cook 8-12 minutes until al dente.
8. Drain pasta and add to sauce, tossing to coat.
9. Transfer pasta to serving platter and top with minced fennel fronds.
Chef’s Notes: Although Sicilian cuisine regularly uses sardines and anchovies -- both of which are rich in Omega-3s -- Worcestershire Sauce can be substituted for the fish if desired.
© Renée Lasko 2014