Linguine with Sardines

19/11/2012 21:23

A tasty pasta dish with fresh sardines.
Fresh sardines are surprisingly cheap to buy and make a nutritious supper. Sardines have a silvery-blue skin and a rich, oily flesh. Named after Sardinia where they used to be abundant, the majority of sardines are now found in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Serves 4

12oz dried linguine
4 tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed & sliced very thinly
2 garlic cloves, sliced
8 sardines, filleted
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp lemon juice
finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Wash the sardine fillets and pat dry on kitchen paper, then chop them into chunky pieces.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and chilli flakes, cook for 1 minute. Add the sliced fennel, and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the sardines pieces and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil. Add the linguine and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and return to the pan.

Add the lemon zest & juice, pine nuts and the parsley to the sardines and toss together. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to the pasta with the remaining oil and toss together gently. Transfer to warmed bowl and serve.

* Linguine is a thin type of spaghetti pasta with flattened edges.

* PINE NUTS ~  are an edible seed found inside pine cones. Apparently, they are incredibily difficult to extract. These nuts have a sweet, creamy crunch, and they’re great to keep on hand to sprinkle on salads or pasta. You can eat them plain or toasted, They’re also a key ingredient in pesto.

* TOASTING PINE NUTS ~ They toast up very quickly in a fry pan, which brings out their natural rich flavour. Start by putting the nuts in a single layer in a frying pan with no oil in the pan. Toast the nuts on medium-high temperature. Keep moving the nuts around the pan with a wooden spoon. It will take just a few minutes for them to toast.