Pasta with sardines is a very tasty and healthy dish. Sardines are rich in unsaturated fats which are good for controlling your cholesterol. Paolo Bertazzoni’s choice is to use egg tagliolini since the round taste of this type of pasta enhances the delicate flavor of fish ragouts but we find that a high quality bronze drawn pasta works wonderfully.
2 garlic cloves
2 or more chili peppers (to taste)
5 tbsp of olive oil
pine nuts or white almonds
2 tbsp of lemon juice
half tbsp of lemon rind
400g /14oz tagliolini or linguine
salt and pepper
Cleaning sardines requires some patience and skill: just hold the sardine by the head, then remove the bone by squeezing the belly and moving finger and thumb towards the tail so that the head, the bone and the tail all come away together, neatly separated from the meat.
Cut the sardine filets into sections of less than one inch each and put to one side.
In a large frying pan at medium–high heat carefully toast the pine nuts or some finely chopped almonds in little oil, remove and put to one side. In the same pan, flavor 4 tablespoons of olive oil with one or two crushed garlic cloves and one chili pepper. Turn the garlic until it takes some color but don’t allow it to brown.
Lower the flame and add the sardines with some salt, cook gently for about 3 minutes. Add the toasted pine nuts (or the almonds), parsley, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and lemon rind and gently turn for another minute. Adding the lemon really gives a kick to the recipe as you may not like the “oily feeling” of this fat fish and the olive oil combined. The lemon rind on its side adds just a hint of sourness to balance the sweet base taste of the sardine meat.
In the meantime, you have boil the pasta in a large pot , with plenty of water and two teaspoons of salt until the pasta is al dente. Drain and then
add the tagliolini to the frying pan. Turn gently for another minute or so, on a high heat, adding some olive oil and water from the pasta in order to get a more uniform blend of flavors and a consistent look. Transfer to a large platter and serve.