In cooking sardines pasta, choose the sardines with caution. The ones that come in jars are more firm and better-flavored. I especially like spicy Spanish-style in oil. Cook your pasta. Toss in tomato sauce. Stir in the oil from the jar and, finally, add the crumbled sardines. Easy. Cheap. Delicious!
This is an updated version of a recipe that I originally published in May 2003. I used spaghetti back then but when I asked Alex to make the dish again so I could take new photos, what we had was macaroni and she used that. The truth is it doesn’t matter what pasta shape you use. The flavor is in the sauce, after all.
If you’re wondering why, after all this time, we’re redoing an old dish, well, for new photos like I said. Although, there are other reasons. It’s summer, the heat in the kitchen (as it is everywhere else in the country) is a killer so we’re choosing easy to cook dishes that require us to keep the stove open in under 30 minutes. And this Spanish-style sardines pasta definitely fits the requirement.
The other reason… Well, we lost our cat, Pepper, yesterday. Old age. Inevitable. Still depressing though. I wasn’t in the mood to cook, I was planning on sandwiches for dinner but Alex said it was sad enough that we lost Pepper and she didn’t want us to eat sad food for dinner. So, she cooked. And she did a wonderful job with my old recipe. She simplified it without loss of flavor.
Spanish-style Sardines Pasta
Updated version of a recipe originally published in May 2003.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Melt the butter. Saute the garlic, onion and oregano with generous pinches of salt and pepper.
When the onion bits are soft, pour in the contents of the can of tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your hand. Boil gently, uncovered, to reduce until the pasta is done.
Break up the sardines. Stir half into the sauce.
Pour in as much of the oil from the jar of sardines as you wish into the sauce. Stir. Taste. Add salt and pepper, as needed.
Toss the pasta into the sauce.
Ladle the pasta into bowls. Garnish with the remaining sardines and, optionally, with grated Parmesan and finely sliced scallions.