- 1kg fresh sardines
- 500g Wild Fennel
- 1-2spoons tomato puree
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 salted anchovies
- 40g Pine Nuts
- 40g Raisins
- 100g breadcrumbs
- One small spoonful of sugar
- 400g bucatini (long pasta)
- Olive oil to taste
- 1 spoonful rock salt or table salt to put in the pasta water + 2 or 3 pinches of table salt
- Optional: one small packet of saffron
- Put the raisins to soak in a small bowl filled with water for at least half an hour. Meanwhile rinse the wild fennel and discard the top part of the stalks (roughest part). In a large pan that is about 2/3 full of water, pour a spoonful of rock salt or table salt. As soon as the water boils, add the wild fennel and stew for about 10 minutes.
- When it is cooked, drain the fennel with a fine mesh strainer or a perforated spoon, leaving in the pan the water that will be used to cook pasta. Let the boiled fennel cool down, squeeze it well to eliminate surplus water, put on a cutting board and cut into small pieces with a knife. Eventually put the fennel in a bowl.
- Clean well the fresh sardines removing with a knife their heads and tails. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove their central fishbone. Rinse the fish fillets obtained in running water, cut into pieces and put in a bowl.
- Peel and slice the onion. Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Put it on the stove, pour the minced onion and the sliced salted anchovies. Fry over a very low heat until the anchovies are melted. Add half of the sardine filets previously prepared and make them melt well in the saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato purée, a glass of the reserved water (the one where the fennel was cooked in) and make everything blend together.
- Add 2 or 3 pinches of salt (taste it!) to the sardine sauce, the squeezed raisins, the pine nuts and half of the minced wild fennel. If you want to, you can also add to the sauce a small packet of saffron, melt in a glass filled with 1 or 2 spoonsful of the reserved water where the fennel was cooked.
- Stir and cook over a very low heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté in another frying pan the other half of the sardines left in the bowl. In the same frying pan, also sauté the remaining wild fennel in the unused oil. Put the sardines and the sautéed fennel aside. Boil the fennel cooking water that was put aside in the pan and pour the bucatini. While the pasta is cooking, preheat the oven to 180°. Put a drizzle of olive oil and the breadcrumbs mixed with a spoonful of sugar in a baking tray. Toast well in the oven and put aside.
- Drain the pasta when it is cooked al dente and pour it directly in the frying pan used to cook the sauce, stirring well in order to blend the bucatini and the sardine sauce together.
- On the bottom of the baking tray used to toast the breadcrumbs pour a first layer of the pasta mixed with the sauce, add the sardines and the sautéed fennel and finally top with breadcrumbs. Repeat the same procedure again and eventually top with the toasted breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes to 180°. Serve tepid or warm.
Contributor: Rosalia Coscino, 66
Place: Corleone, Italy.
Personal Background: housewife and mother.
|Recipe’s Personal Background||How did you learn this recipe?||This recipe is one of the favourite of Ms. Coscino. She learnt it from her mother and she cooks it usually to welcome her beloved ones|
|Is there some memory/historical event connected to this recipe?||Not a specific historic event for Ms. Coscino. She remembers the way how she has learned it. Of course, they are memories really connected to the past and to the life in the family.|
|Personal reference to tradition transmitted by relatives (preparing together, sharing, eating together etc.)?||This recipe is connected to a shared family meal, when the family is all together.|
|Mediterranean Background||Any tradition this receipe is connected to? If yes, which one? Can you describe it?|| This recipe is a typical dish of the Sicilian cuisine (included in the list of the traditional Italian food products of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry).
The recipe perfectly symbolizes the Mediterranean diet, as:
– It contains fresh ingredients and is rich of nutrients: blue fish (sardines), cereals (pasta), seasonal and local vegetables and herbs (wild fennel, raisins, pine nuts, saffron etc.)
– It contains olive oil as a fat base
– Stewing and baking keeps the flavors intact and the nutritional intake balanced.
This meal represents a perfect combination between sea and countryside food: it’s a perfect representation of Sicily.
|Any Festivity this recipe is connected to? If yes, which one? Can you describe it?||No|
|Season (season this food is linked to)||Originally, the recipe of the BAKED PASTA WITH SARDINES was a seasonal dish prepared from March to September, period in which fresh sardines could be found at the market and wild fennels in the fields.
Nonetheless, nowadays such products are available throughout the year.
|Ingredient||Nutritional Importance||Health Benefits|
|Fresh sardine||Made up of 21% proteins, 4,5% lipids and 1,5% carbohydrates. Rich of trace elements like vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium.||Sardines are very rich in omega 3 fats that protect the heart and the blood vessels which neutralize the negative effects of hyper-glycaemia.|
|Tomato||Made up of 21% proteins, 20% lipids and 59% carbohydrates. The amino acids contained in the tomato are necessary for the body.||The most important pigments contained in the tomato are carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene. Above all lycopene has a great antioxidant action.|
|Onion||Good source of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese.||It shows anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The combination of these properties can prevent some cardiovascular diseases and cancers.|
|Extra virgin olive oil||Made up of 99% lipids, and minimally of vitamins, antioxidants and phytosterols.||Being a source of lipids, amino acids and important triglycerides that make up the lipid bilayer membrane, olive oil has multiple and important beneficial actions (also a mild laxative property).|
|Durum wheat pasta (bucatini)||Made up of 14% proteins, 3% lipids and 83% carbohydrates.||Having an amount of complex carbohydrates like starch, fibre and some fats, it gives the body a good energy supply that avoids abrupt increase/decrease of sugar in the blood, which is certainly not good for our health (glycaemic level).|
|Pine nut||Made up of 21% proteins, 76% lipids and 3% carbohydrates.||Pine nuts are a food with a very energetic plant origin; it contains high levels of triglycerides, among these linoleic acid with a cholesterol-lowering action.|
|Raisins||They are very rich in dietary fibers, mineral salts and phenolic substances.||Very high in calories because of fructose, it is an anti-oxidant, and it is useful against constipation.|
|Saffron||It is possible to find a high level of minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus but also iron and selenium which has a good anti-oxidant action.||A very small quantity of this spice is enough to give flavour and colour to a dish.|
|Is it suggested to eat this meal if you suffer from some disease? If yes, for which one?||No diseases related to this dish.|
|What is the primary base with which your food is prepared? Is this a derivative of oil or another base?||Extra virgin olive oil|
|What nutrition related illnesses or deficiencies are common in your area? Are there holistic or nutrition based remedies connected to these aliments?||Sardines should be avoided by people suffering of gout.|