Meals and Courses

Bucatini with Sardines and Fennel

cook 20 mins
Tags: Quick eats
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 5 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 50 g (2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 400 g (13 oz) bucatini pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 4 sardines, boned and filleted
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • handful of dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • Place the saffron in a small bowl and pour over the measurement water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan, add the garlic and breadcrumbs and cook for a couple of minutes until golden. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to the pack instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and both kinds of fennel and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Mash in the anchovies, then add the saffron with its soaking water. Add the raisins and let it bubble for 2 minutes.
  • Rub the remaining tablespoon of oil over the sardine fillets and season well. Cook on a preheated hot griddle pan or under a hot grill for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water, and return to the pan. Toss through the sauce, adding a little cooking water to loosen if needed. Season well. Spoon on to serving plates, top with the sardine fillets. Serve scattered with the pine nuts, breadcrumbs and dill.
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