Pasta with European Pilchards (Sardines)


During the last week we’ve been in Spain, exactly in Oviedo (a very beautiful city which I advise to visit), and I have to say that in the local fish markets I found a lot of beautiful fish.

So, during one of those days, me and my wife we decided to go at the main market to buy some fish, and among the others we bought also some nice and tasty pilchards, which are not only very good and healthy (rich of Omega 3), but they are sold always at good price.

My idea was to make the very famous sicilian “Pasta con le Sarde”, but unfortunately I didn’t find the pine nuts and neither the wild fennel, so I did something easy using what I found, and I have to say that it was a good lunch also in this way 🙂

The important thing is to have absolutely very fresh pilchards, after that all the rest comes quite easy 🙂 The ones in the cans/jars are not good for this recipe, only fresh ones.

Let’s see this “personal” recipe 🙂 (but soon I’ll try to post also the original recipe).


INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 350g of spaghetti or bucatini
  • 500g of fresh European pilchards
  • 30g of raisins
  • 4/5 tomatoes, medium size
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • chili
  • breadcrumbs, not too small
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. First of all we have to clean the pilchards. It’s very easy, have a look HERE. Then we cut the fillets into pieces, about 2 cm large.
  2. Then we cut the tomatoes into small pieces, and we remove all the seeds.
  3. After we have put the pasta into a pot with boiling water, we take a pan and we eat some extra virgin olive oil, together with the garlic cut in half and the chili cut in slices.
  4. When the garlic gets some blonde color we remove it, and we add the tomato, and then the pilchards.
  5. In another small pan we heat some little olive oil and we put the raisins, at medium fire, until they “grow” a bit, and when they are more round and soft we add them to the fish.
  6. When the pasta is ready, we put it into the pan and we mix well with the sauce, and in the end we add the breadcrumbs (not to much, just enough to add some little crunchy texture).
  7. Serve in the dishes, and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Enjoy with a white wine 🙂

PS: this was a “holiday recipe” for me, so it can be improved, and displayed better 😀 but trust me, in this recipe you will taste the sea! 🙂 and it’s also quite fast: 10 minutes to clean the fish, and 10 minutes to cook the pasta 🙂


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