Sardines with Spaghetti


  • 2 x 215g cans Saldanha Sardines
  • 2 fennel bulbs, chopped finely – reserve a few leaf stalks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup seedless raisins
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts, very lightly toasted – slivered or flaked almonds optional
  • 410g spaghetti
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs


  1. Chop the fennel finely, using the heart only.
  2. Cover the raisins in water and soak for 1 hour, then drain.
  3. In the meantime, heat the oven to 180˚C and lightly roast the pine nuts and the breadcrumbs on different trays until lightly golden.
  4. Drain the tins of sardines, leaving the fish whole.
  5. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti, stirring occasionally.
  6. Cook pasta al dente.
  7. Strain the pasta in a colander and add ⅓ cup olive oil to the pasta.
  8. Sauté the onion in a pot in ⅓ a cup of the oil, until soft.
  9. Add the fennel and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  10. Add the drained raisins and the pine nuts.
  11. Place the sardines on top of these ingredients.
  12. Add salt and black pepper to taste and top with the chopped fennel leaf stalks.
  13. Cover pot and warm through for about 5 minutes.
  14. Using a bowl, dish the spaghetti placing the sardine and fennel mixture on top.
  15. Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and garnish with chopped pieces of fennel fronds.
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