Sardines and Such

You see them on the shelves of your grocery store. You see them in the discount bin, you have them in your cellar (a whole case), just in case Armegeddon arrives.

You can now have them included in your recipe box. My first experiment with sardine tins came in the fall of 2007 and I read an article on sardines in a Greek magazine. Sardines are packed in Omega 3 fats and because they are low on the food chain of fish, they have little (if any) exposure to mercury.

The article reviewed different tins of sardines and then it went on to show different ideas for the maligned sardine tin. The one that caught my eye was Sardine Dip!

Sardine Dip

2 tins of sardines, boned (do not drain the oil)
2 cloves of garlic
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 sweet banana pepper, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

3 Tbsp. of parsley

  1. Add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you achieve your desired consistency.
  2. Serve on toasted pita bread, crostinis or rustic bread.

Later in 2007, I came across a post about a bread dip mix at Pam’s Sidewalk Shoes. She showed us all how to make Carrabbas Italian Dread Dip Mix and enjoy at home.

At first I thought the ingredients would make this dip “busy” but “au contraire, mon frere”…the mix goes great with warm bread and good extra virgin olive oil. I even went further by drizzling some good balsamic vinegar in the oil and adding some Parmesan.

The Carrabbas Dip is a great way to get your appetite going!

Are you still with me? Both of the above recipes are connected with what I’m about to show you next.

I recently caught one of Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meal’s and although I’m not a huge fan of her, I have warmed up to some of her dishes, including her take on Sicilian-Style Sardine Pasta.

You can use her recipe or you can try mine. What I did was to “snaz up” the bread crumbs and mellow out the fishyness sardines can sometimes give out.

This pasta dish turned out to be quick, affordable, healthy, filling and certainly delicious. I’m telling ya, sardines are back and I’d have no problem surprising friends with this dish.

Linguine With Sardines and Bread Crumbs
(serves 4)

1/4 cup olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs

4 tsp. of Carrabbas Bread Dip Mix

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

coarse salt
cracked black pepper

2 tins of sardines, boned, drained and roughly chopped

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 lb. linguine

salted water

  1. Get a large pot of water boiling. Add a generous amount of salt and add your linguine. Cook according to package’s instructions.
  2. In a large skillet preheated to medium heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil and your garlic and let them infuse their flavour in the oil for a bout a minute. Stir in your bread crumbs until all the oil is absorbed and the crumbs have turned golden brown.
  3. Add your Carrabbas bread dip mix into the bread crumbs, mix well and transfer them to a bowl and reserve.
  4. In the same skillet, return to a medium heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil, the sardines and chilli flakes. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the hot linguine and the bread crumbs to the skillet and toss thoroughly to combine everything well.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

© 2008,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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20 Comments for “Sardines and Such”

Ivy

says:

This looks awesome Peter and guess what I just baked a bread and I am eating it hot. Hope I had some of your dip.

maybahay

says:

i LOVE sardines (love them so much that i got a tin in my Christmas stocking this year, from Santa, no less…). your recipes for the dip and pasta sound great Peter.

Truffle

says:

I was just wondering what to do with some extra tins I have so this post couldn’t have come at a better time. That pasta look fantastic!

Bellini Valli

says:

In the ’80’s there was a fad diet where you ate nothing but sardines. It was supposed to make you look 10 years younger! With my love of food I will just have to grow old gracefully!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

says:

I love sardines…well, the idea of them.I worked in the health field before I moved to Florida, and know a lot about the evils of mercury. Sardines are great for you, but I could never figure out what to do with them – I tried making them like tuna salad and it was alright but lacking. I tried them on bruschetta – not so great either. So I am so trying all these recipes! Thanks Peter!

Peter M

says:

Ivy, try the dip…nostimo!

Truffle, the pasta with sardines was a surprising hit!

Jenn, if you make the dip, drain the oil from the tin first…the fishy oil isn’t for everyone (but I like it).

winedeb

says:

Great post Peter! We like sardines, but just on crackers as a snack. Now I can go wild with them. I cannot wait to make the pasta dish! Have you ever had the fresh ones? Every once in awhile our fish merchant down here gets in fresh ones. I have him clean them and then we just put them on the grill, awesome! Good subject and great photos to accompany!

Peter M

says:

Deb, sardines are one of the tastiest and inexpensive of fish. We get them in Toronto weekly but their freshness varies.

They say, the best fish is the freshest fish. I go overboard on sardines in Greece.

Susan from Food Blogga

says:

Sardines are one food that Jeff and I take divergent paths on. He loves them, I don’t. But I still make a pasta dish with sardines similar to yours and will have to try your first recipe as well. He’ll be forever grateful to you after I make it!

Pam

says:

Peter, thank you so much for coming up with this recipe! I love sardines, but have only eaten them scooped onto crackers. This sounds wonderful! I am definitel bookmarking this!

Ferdzy

says:

Mmm, sardines. I used to take sardine sandwiches to school as a teenager. Partly because I enjoyed them and partly to gross out my friends, lol.

That pasta sounds verrry interrresting.

Peter M

says:

Pam, thank you for introducing me to the Carrabbas bread dip mix, we don’t have those restaurants up here in Canada.

Ferdzy, sardine sandwiches would have gotten me beaten up at my high school!

Shandy

says:

Peter, Hello and first, I wanted to thank you for your comment on the cinnamon with the Beignets. I was thinking the same thing after I had made them. Since this was a trial effort, I was happy with the results. . .but not completely satisfied.
Your writing and recipes of sardines are wonderful! My father is a body builder, still at age 61, and all of us children were raised on enjoying sardines (he stated that they were also a good protein source). . .mainly because Dad always looked like he was enjoying them so much when eating them out of the little tin can. I had the immense fun of catching them by the netfull when they were in season. . .just by standing next to a river because they swim by the thousands next to the river edge. All you see is a solid, thick streak of small fish. Your net is filled in less then a second. =D

Kevin

says:

That pasta looks really good! This is the second post about sardines that I have seen this week. I am really going to have to try them!

Núria

says:

Wow you discovered many ways to eat sardines!!! I love them in the simpliest way: just take a piece of the baguette, cut in half, drop the sardines oil on the bread, spread it, add some salt (not much) and the sardines on top, close the bread and eat! Delicious! When I was pregnant I even left the bones there to eat… extra calcium!

The Cooking Ninja

says:

My SIL made pasta with sardine once and it was delicious. I’m going to try out yours soon. Hopefully my 1 year old will like it too. Lately she has turned vegetarian.

Meghan

says:

My Sicilian family has something similar to this dish… I’m going to pull the recipe and compare influences.

Jan

says:

Peter – Thank you for sending me the link again! I NEED to make that TODAY! I was getting stressed out!!! LOL