Here's Mary Ann Giordano's recipe for Pasta con Sarde, from "The St. Joseph's Day Table Cookbook," featured in today's Buffalo News. It's a classic Sicilian pasta that includes fennel bulb, sultana raisins, sardines and toasted pine nuts. It's sometimes garnished with bread crumbs, said to evoke the sawdust of St. Joseph's carpentry workshop.
Pasta con Sarde
1 small onion, diced
1 fennel bulb with fronds, diced
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup sultana raisins
2 pounds perciatelli pasta, or penne
3 quarts tomato sauce
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 can sardines
Parsley and bread crumbs for garnish
Sauté the onions and fennel in the oil until translucent. Add the capers and the raisins. Continue to sauté for 3 minutes, and reserve. Remove sardines from water, chop roughly, and reserve.
Cook the pasta according to package directions and heat the tomato sauce, which should be on thin side. Spread a little sauce on a serving platter. Heap the pasta onto the platter, cover with sauce, and top with the fennel, raisins, nuts, and sardines. Stir slightly. Garnish with breadcrumbs. Serve hot. Try not to put this dish in the oven, as it dries out easily.
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