Farfalle Pasta with Sardines in Tomato Sauce

Most would agree that pasta is economical and a much loved comfort food. However, macaroni and sardines isn't a well-received pasta dish or at least not by my American friends. I would hear “No, that’s too hard core Italian for me,” or more often, “Eeewww pasta and sardines sounds worse than anchovies and spaghetti!” Being raised by a full-fledged Italian mother, I declare, “Un pasto delizioso”… a very delicious meal!

It doesn’t get much better than this friends, lemme tell you.

Farfalle and Sardines in Tomato Sauce


Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 15 oz can sardines in tomato sauce
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 – 3 teaspoons Capers Nonpareille, drained
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Crushed red pepper seeds to taste (I used about a 1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 16 oz box macaroni - farfalle, fusili, cavatappi, - cooked al dente

Grated Romano cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, pick over the sardines to remove any backbones and set aside, including the tomato sauce. 

Sauté chopped onion in olive oil over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant. Gently stir in the sardines and their sauce to the onions. Caution the sardines are fragile so be very gentle while stirring. Add about 3/4 of the canned tomato sauce, capers, basil, and crushed red pepper seeds. Gently stir, blending the spices into the sauce. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes allowing flavors to come together. 

Add the pasta of choice a little at time to the sauce, tossing with each addition to insure the sauce to pasta ratio is as desired. Plate and top with grated Romano cheese.

Thankfully, my Irish father became accustomed to eating “hard-core Italian” delights over the years, and the hubby, well he adores Italian food. Obviously, this is well received in my house. If you enjoy fish and Italian food, this is a pasta dish for you - easy, economical, impressive, and most importantly incredibly delicious!

Are you hungry?

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