- 250 ml dry white wine, warmed (1 cup)
- 80 gm sultanas (½ cup)
- ½ tsp saffron threads
- 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
- 12 butterflied sardine fillets, halved lengthways
- 2 baby fennel, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin, fronds reserved
- 100 gm fresh coarse breadcrumbs, toasted (crusts left on) (1 cup)
- 25 gm flaked almonds, toasted (1/3 cup)
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped chives
- 2 lemons, finely grated rind only
- 400 gm dried ziti (see note)
- To serve: lemon halves
- 1Heat white wine in a frying pan over medium heat, add sultanas and saffron, remove from heat and cool. Season sardines with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, cook sardines in batches for 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Keep warm.
- 2Heat remaining olive oil over medium heat, cook fennel for 5 minutes or until tender, add sultana mixture, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated.
- 3Combine ½ cup (loosely packed) fennel fronds, breadcrumbs, almonds, chives, lemon rind and season to taste.
- 4Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until
al dente, drain and return to pan. Add sardines and half the breadcrumb mixture to ziti, toss gently to combine and serve immediately, scattered with remaining breadcrumb mixture and lemon halves.
Note Ziti is a long, tubular pasta with a diameter similar to penne. If unavailable substitute with long hollow pasta such as bucatini or penne.