When sardines stay quite on the sea

We love it when recipe titles are able to condense the sense of humor of a culture, especially a poor culture like many in the past, where providing food was the main activity for all people.

The Poorest Roots of Sicilian Taste

The literal translation of “Pasta with sardines in the ocean” is the humble version of Sardine Pasta, one of the most popular Sicilian dishes. Even when just sardines were a luxury, farmers would make the same sauce but without the fish. It’s a light and super tasty first course that we particularly love. The essential ingredient is wild fennel, which grows spontaneously here in Sicily from January to March/April. It represents the rebirth of the good season and has a fresh taste (similar but not the same as dill) that makes it one of our favorite recipes to serve to guests who visit our Farm to Table at that time of the year. But if you can’t you can just subscribe to our newsletter where we often organize cooking class online with this recipe.

Do you want to cook alone? Here the recipe.

Ingredients 4 people

400 g of bucatini
700 g wild fennel
1 onion
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon of raisins
1 table spoon tomato concentrate
100 g tomato paste
extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper
toasted breadcrumbs to taste


Wash and boil the fennel in salted water, once cooked drain and chop them small, Leave the water on it because we will use it later. Fry the onion in a saucepan, with half a cup of oil, add the pine nuts, raisins and fennel and a spoon of tomato concentrate leaving it to flavor. At this point, diluted in a little fennel cooking water, and cook for about 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta in the fennel water, adding a little if it turns out to be low, drain it al dente and toss it with the previously prepared sauce. Serve it sprinkled with breadcrumbs toasted with a little oil and a pinch of cheese (grandma little secret)