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Spaghetti with sardines, fennel and raisins


"The sardine pasta dish at Sagra is delicious and a little different. Can you publish the recipe, please?"
Marcus Gayle, Palm Beach, NSW

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To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au. Please include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

You'll need

150 gm day-old crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn 3 garlic cloves, 1 bruised 2 finely chopped 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil 50 gm pine nuts 1 small fennel bulb (fronds reserved), finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped Pinch of saffron threads 100 ml dry white wine 6 butterflied sardines, pin-boned 5 salted anchovies (see note) 2 tbsp strattu (see note) 50 gm raisins 400 gm spaghetti To serve: coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley Pinch of fennel pollen (optional; see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. To make pangrattato, combine bread, bruised garlic and 50ml oil, season to taste and toss to combine. Spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake, shaking occasionally, until golden (4-5 minutes; discard garlic). When bread is cool enough to handle, pound in a mortar and pestle and set pangrattato aside.
  • 02
  • Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add pine nuts and stir occasionally until golden (3-4 minutes). Add chopped garlic, fennel, onion and saffron, and stir occasionally until fennel and onion are tender (10-12 minutes; add a splash of water if sticking). Add wine, sardines, anchovies and strattu, and simmer until oil separates from sauce (5-6 minutes). Add raisins and reduce heat to low.
  • 03
  • Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just undercooked (3-4 minutes), then drain, reserving 250ml water. Add spaghetti to sardine sauce with about 200ml pasta water, increase heat to medium-high and simmer until pasta is al dente (3-4 minutes). Season to taste, adjust consistency with extra pasta water if it’s a little dry (you’re after a light sauce consistency) and serve hot scattered with pangrattato, parsley, fennel pollen and finely chopped fennel fronds.

Note Salted anchovies are available from select grocers and delicatessens. Strattu is a concentrated tomato paste available from select Italian grocers and delicatessens. Fennel pollen is available from select delicatessens and Waimea Trading. If it's unavailable substitute toasted ground fennel seeds. 


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Feb 2014

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