Chef's Recipes

Spaghetti with sardines, fennel and raisins

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for spaghetti with sardines, fennel and raisins by Sagra, Sydney.

  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
Spaghetti with sardines, fennel and raisins
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

REQUEST A RECIPE
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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Main
  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.

Notes

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.