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Pasta con le sarde
main courses | serves 6
"With its distinctive fragrance and sweet and sour flavours, this is a Sicilian classic," says editor Andy Harris. "Locals make it using the intensely flavoured fennel that grows wild all around the island."
1. Cook the fennel in plenty of boiling, salted water for 810 minutes, or until tender. Transfer with a slotted spoon to kitchen paper to dry, then roughly chop and place in a bowl, reserving the cooking water.
2. Heat half olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add 500ml of the water used to cook the fennel, as well as the saffron, sultanas and pine nuts and simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, sauté the anchovies with remaining oil in a small saucepan over low heat for few minutes until they disintegrate, then add to sauce.
4. Add the sardines to the saucepan and cook for 34 minutes, then add the fennel. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for a further 34 minutes.
5. Cook pasta in boiling fennel water until al dente. Drain and serve with sauce, sprinkling breadcrumbs on top.
Recipe Andy Harris
Photo Con Poulos
from Issue 9
ingredients 6 baby fennel bulbs, including green tops
6 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp saffron threads
40g sultanas or raisins, soaked in warm water
200g toasted pine nuts
4 anchovy fillets
12 fresh sardines, cleaned and boned, heads removed, to produce butterfly fillets
2 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
Bucatini, to serve