September 22, 2021
Recipes

Spaghetti aglio e olio with crumbed sardines and Italian greens

Friends invited into Billie Justice Thomson's home for dinner know they're in for an informal evening of food, wine and laughter.

Spaghetti aglio e olio with crumbed sardines and Italian greens
serves 4-6

500g good quality spaghetti
500g sardines
3 eggs for egg wash
1 cup plain flour for dusting
2 cups breadcrumbs
⅓ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Oil for frying

on the side
Chilli, fresh or dried
fresh lemon
pecorino
truffle salt
1 big bunch of broccoli di rabe, blanched in boiling water

Cook the pasta in the biggest pot you have. Make sure it’s at a rolling boil and the water is as salty as the ocean. Chuck spaghetti in.

While the spaghetti is cooking, dust the sardines lightly in flour, dip in egg wash, then cover them in the crumbs. Shallow fry for a minute or so each side in batches – they don’t need long. Put to one side.

Empty out the pasta when it’s al dente, saving a bit of the cooking water. Turn the heat down low under the same big pot and pour in several glugs of olive oil, add the garlic and fry just for a minute or so. Add the pasta back in with lots of fresh parsley and a little bit of pasta water too, if you’ve remembered to save some. Season with salt and pepper.

This meal is really a “choose your own adventure” situation so that people who think they don’t like sardines can give it a try and younger people can have it without chilli and go down a cheesy route.

If you have leftover sardines, they are fantastic cold the next day in a sandwich with lemony mayo and capers.

This recipe first appeared in the August 2021 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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