Pasta con le Sarde Fresca (Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Sardines)

Inspired by a classic Sicilian dish, this summery pasta requires turning on the stove only to cook the pasta. Take your time picking through the sardines: Even fillets often have a few small bones attached.

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  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One 4-ounce can fine-quality olive oil–packed sardines
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Tender fennel fronds, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Combine the tomatoes, chopped fennel, onion, currants and olive oil in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature for flavors to meld.

  2. With your fingers, gently break the sardines into bite-size pieces, removing any bones and scales as needed. Stir the sardines gently into the tomato sauce, taking care not to break them up too much.

  3. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling well-salted water until al dente. Drain well and add to the bowl of sauce. Toss to combine, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with the fennel fronds.

Contributed By Photo © Kate Winslow Published February 2014

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