January 13, 2010

Fettuccine with Sardines
and Bread Crumbs

"We'll make it like we do when we make pasta with tuna, except we'll add in some lemon juice and white wine." I said as we prepped dinner Tuesday night.

This was my desire. I let it blanket me all afternoon as I executed task after task at work.

01/12/10 01:39 PM

Okay, I did a little research and found some recipes for pasta with sardines. I think this is what we should eat tonight. We'll make it like we make pasta with tuna. And a nice sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs to finish it off. I'm thinking this will be the next post.

01/12/10 02:12 PM

That sounds good. :)

Something to look forward to. I would need a plentiful bowl sprinkled with freshly toasted bread crumbs. A nice glass of cabernet. Some olives to pick at here and there between bites. A nice dusting of parmesan. Rapturous delight.

Once home, it was a flurry of methodical prep.

Garlic, shallot and parsley were chopped. A tin of sardines, opened. Water on the burner to boil. A half lemon at the ready. A bottle of white, a grigio. The salt, the pepper, the crushed red pepper, the extra virgin olive oil.

Roberto pulled fettuccine from the cupboard. "I think we're running low on pasta." He said, jokingly.

"I know. I'm starting to worry." I replied, jokingly.

We crack ourselves up.

Roberto dropped the pasta into the boiling, salted water, and gave it a quick stir. He proceeded to ignite another burner, doused the pan with a generous shot of olive oil, the garlic, shallot, and crushed red pepper. Once this was sufficiently heated, he added in the sardines which he proceeded to break apart with tongs. 


A nice splash of white wine.

A  healthy squeeze of lemon juice.

Meantime, I prepped the bread crumbs. A few pieces from a homemade french baguette from Sunday was diced finely, mixed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and set to toast.

I was careful to keep an eye on the toaster oven. While it can quite angelically toast an english muffin, it has devilish intentions whenever I make toasted bread crumbs.

But, we averted bread crumb disaster, at last.

Our pasta was ready. Pulled from the salty depths, planted in the pan, stirred. More parsley was added, a little more cooking water. Some cracked black pepper. When everything was just so, we plated.

A plentiful portion, the kind I had been dreaming about all afternoon, was set into our respective bowls and topped with the bread crumbs.

I took pictures while Roberto waited patiently for his bowl. I made quick work of it. I was anticipating...salivating. Sometimes, ah, the pictures "...whatever will be, will be...".

Happiness is a new dish set upon the table, focused on, enjoyed, devoured. We'll try next time with capers or a good chop of olives in the mix. Another something salty with a little vinegary kick to it. Just the right opposition to brighten, open things up.

The fettuccine was perfect, with it's wide/flat body, for this endeavor. It pulled in the flavors and tangled with the bits of this and that.

The leftover crumbs at the bottom of the bowl soaked up and swelled, a prize waiting for that last bite.

No surprise, we ate every last tangled and swollen bit.


  1. My word, girl! You know how to get me salivating! :-) YUM! The toasty-soak-up-the-juices breadcrumbs sound amazing. :-) Well done, you two!

  2. great. I always love the addition of breadcrumbs for crunch. Anchovies, capers and fennel fronds would be other great additions!!!

  3. Something very akin to this is in my new Sicily cookbook and is on my list of things to make ASAP. I'm trying to eat more sardines these days, and this looks utterly divine.

  4. A delicious combination, love the contrast with the very delicious looking toasted breadcrumbs.

  5. You guys are so good at cooking on the whim!! That looks verrrrry tasty Tracy!

  6. Rambling Tart...I'm still fondly remembering those breacrumbs. :)

    Amelia PS...I ran out and bought capers yesterday. Will have for next time, for sure.

    Elizabeth @ the manhattan food project...once in the pasta, the sardines were reminiscent of tuna, in texture and flavor. Not overwhelming at all. Hope you try soon!

    Kath...it was a lovely contrast. We must remember to do it more.

    Denise...thanks thanks thank. :)

    Elisabelle...I'm trying to think of another yum yum for tonights dinner...thanks for posting.

    Strawberriesinparis...We're all about the whim in our kitchen. It helps to have a stocked pantry and memory of what's stocked in it. :)

  7. We love breadcrumbs on our pasta, it's really Sicilian and quite delicious, soft and crunchy, soft and cruncy.
    Lovely way to cook, the way really, makes me think I need to relax a bit.

  8. Nice! Sardine with breadcrumbs :)

  9. I just made this with Maine shrimp instead of anchovies and it was soooo good- thanks for the inspiration!

  10. rachel...your kitchen history in Rome is quite solid, I'd say. Relaxing should be a breeze. I should have relaxed more last night, but instead I over salted the red sauce. Roberto saved dinner with aglio e olio.

    Ellie...I suppose I should wait another week before indulging again, but the breadcrumbs make it increasingly impossible. :)

    Kate...we make this very pasta with shrimp as well. I'm glad you've been inspired! :)

  11. Hm, you know what is strange about your blog? Because you do not have linkable titles on your individual posts, I can't refer people to a specific post. So while the recipe I'm talking about is first right now, if someone clicks over after you've written something else, this post won't be the first one anymore... hm. Stumped.

  12. Kate...I just changed the archive in the right menu. Now if you click on a particular post, it will load with it's own unique URL for copying. Hope that helps. :)

  13. Great, thanks! You don't have to leave it that way for my sake if you don't want to! But I got the specific post URL, so it will direct people to this post... FOREVER! Mwahaha :)

  14. This looks so amazing, I must try this (sans sardines for the kids-- maybe they'll try it?).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Tracy,
    Hello! A few quick questions...
    Do you see a difference between different brands of sardines? If so, would you mind sharing your favorite brands? Do you buy in olive oil or water? Any other sardine advice would be appreciated.
    Thank you,

  17. You know how to mix things up! Yet another wonderful recipe given.

  18. I love sardines and I love pasta. I think I'll try this! Looks scrumptious.


  19. The Yellow Door Paperie...the sardines were much like tuna, if the kids like tuna, they might not notice a difference. Worth a try. :)

    Denise...The brand we prefer is "Season Brand Imported Sardines". They are skinless and boneless, come about 3 to a can, packed in pure olive oil. They're wild caught. I would look for those traits when scoping out a brand. Hope that helps.

    alexandria...thank you. :)

    my little expat kitchen...I hope you give it a try. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. My weekend meal plan just got changed:)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.