6 baby fennel bulbs, including green tops
6 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp saffron threads
40 g sultanas or raisins, soaked in warm water
200 g toasted pine nuts
4 sustainably sourced anchovy fillets
12 fresh sustainably sourced fresh sardines, cleaned and boned, heads removed, to produce butterfly fillets
2 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
Bucatini, to serve
Recipe by Andy Harris
Cook the fennel in plenty of boiling, salted water for 8–10 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.
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.
Meanwhile, sauté the anchovies with remaining oil in a small saucepan over low heat for few minutes until they disintegrate, then add to sauce.
Add the sardines to the saucepan and cook for 3–4 minutes, then add the fennel. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for a further 3–4 minutes.
Cook pasta in boiling fennel water until al dente. Drain and serve with sauce, sprinkling breadcrumbs on top.
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With its distinctive fragrance and sweet and sour flavours, this is a Sicilian classic with lots of their native fennel.
BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH
Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.
When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.
For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:
Marine Stewardship Council