Pasta with sardines (pasta chî sardi in Sicilian) is a typical dish of Sicilian cuisine, can be a full meal. And ‘characterized by a combination of pasta, fish, vegetables and fruit that creates a contrast typical cuisine Sicilian-Arab between spicy and sweet. Season the fish with wild fennel probably dates back to the Greeks and Romans, while the use of raisins, pine nuts and saffron is of Arab unity. Arises from poverty and shortage of ingredients. The origin of the dish is legendary and is usually attributed to the cook of the Arab general Eufemio that, on the occasion of his landing in Sicily in the conquest of the island, he was forced to feed the troops in a state of starvation and then to fend for themselves by exploiting all that he owned and that nature could offer, ie fish and fennel, with the addition of imaginative pine nuts, raisins and saffron.

Ingredients:

600 g Brown Rice or Einkorn Pasta
800 g Fresh Sardines
2 Onions
50 g Raisins
50 g Pine Nuts
4 Anchovies
8 Bunches Fennel  (about 1 pound)
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Sachets of Saffron
Unrefined Sea Salt and Pepper
100 g Toasted Breadcrumbs

Preparation:

First clean the fennel. Will serve to mitigate the strong flavor of the fish. Boil, drain and chop. Then set aside and do not throw the cooking water. Pour oil in a pan processed sardines that will melt. Then add raisins and pine nuts (already softened in warm water and squeezed dry) and fry it all together with chopped onions. Now add the chopped fennel and sardines boned and bone. We recommend stir carefully making sure to chop the sardines. Do it with a wooden spoon. As a final step, after cooking the fish, add saffron dissolved in warm water and give us below as adjusting the salt and pepper to taste. At this point, resume the cooking water of fennel. Melt in the pot the other saffron and boil the pasta al dente (if the water was little, add the other). You just have to drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and sprinkle over the toasted breadcrumbs (the crumb “atturrata”). Some chefs suggest adding the toasted breadcrumbs two teaspoons of sugar.