This is a typical pasta found in Sicily, some say even the regional dish. The sardines should be fresh which are hard to find here in the US, but if you are able to come across some, please give this dish a try. It is preferred that you use wild fennel, but again, unless you grow it yourself it is not readily available here in North America. The domestic type makes a suitable substitution. We love to serve this pasta dishes on Christmas Eve for our Feast of The Seven Fishes celebration.
- 1 Pound Fennel
- 3 Pounds Whole, Fresh Sardines, Scaled, Boned, Heads & Tails Removed
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 1/2 Cups Tomato
- 3 Tablespoons Dried Currants
- 1/8 Cup Pine Nuts
- Salt & Black Pepper
- 1 1/2 Pounds Dried Pasta (A Long Thin Pasta Such as Spaghetti Is Preferred)
- Cook the fennel in boiling water for around 20 minutes or until tender.
- Drain, and chop finely.
- Saute the onions in the olive oil until golden, then add the garlic, fennel, tomato puree, currants, pine nuts, and seasonings.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the sardines, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the sardines.
- Cook the pasta until it is al dente.
- Drain, and mix with half the sauce until well coated.
- Serve, topped with the remaining sauce.