Pasta with Fennel, Sardines, and Pine Nuts
Serving sardines with a simple sauce over pasta adds nutritional value and meaty texture to even the most basic dishes.
- Servings: 4
Photography: James Baigrie
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2003
- 1 pound penne, trenette, or other short pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced, plus 1/4 cup green fronds
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cans (3.75 ounces each) sardines packed in olive oil
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine oil and pine nuts in a large saute pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until nuts are lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add onion, sliced fennel, garlic, and salt to pan; season with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and light golden, 9 to 10 minutes. Add sardines; stir in lemon zest and juice. Chop reserved fennel fronds; stir into mixture.
Drain pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta to mixture in pan along with enough cooking water to coat; toss to combine. Divide among four serving plates; grate lemon zest over each. Serve immediately.