Pasta Con Le Sarde
  • 2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets canned in oil
  • 3 cups chopped fennel fronds and stalks, not the bulb
  • 16 oz. rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tin sardines in oil
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked in warm water to soften, then drained
  • ½ cup pinenuts, toasted
  • generous pinch saffron
  • Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sauté the onion in the olive oil with the anchovies.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt.
  4. Add the chopped fennel fronds and boil for about 45 minutes or until very tender and soft.
  5. As the onions cook and soften, add spoonfuls of the fennel water to the mixture to keep it moist.
  6. When the fennel is cooked, strain it out of the water using a slotted spoon and add it to the onion mix.
  7. Do not discard the water! This water will be used to boil the pasta.
  8. Add the pasta to the boiling fennel water and cook until just al dente or firm to the teeth.
  9. Meanwhile, to the fennel onion mix, stir in the sardines, raisins, pine nuts and finally the saffron.
  10. Gently stir in the cooked pasta and coat it with the fennel sauce.
  11. Use olive oil, we prefer the Lemon Extra Virgin, to coat a 6 quart baking dish. Pour in the pasta mixture. Generously drizzle the entire dish with lemon extra virgin olive oil, about 2 Tablespoons.
  12. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
  13. Serve with a fresh green salad and crusty bread.
Recipe by Spoon & Suitcase at