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Sardines – recession cooking!

I like the NYT’s The Minimalist column a lot (the guy’s name is Mark Bittman), so when a friend posted a link to a quick Pasta & Sardines recipe I though, shit, I’ll try this. Because, as any self-respecting survivalist I own several cans of sardines, all neatly stacked in my pantry for the day when technology fails. So, a couple of days ago – much to the disagreement of the Wife – the dish was made. I have to admit that I was a little sceptical, too, but it turned out to be  fucking delicious!

Do it.

(Thanks goes to M for pointing me to this.)

PASTA w/ SARDINES

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup bread crumbs, ideally made from stale bread
1 onion, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound long pasta, like perciatelli
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons drained capers (I didn’t use these, because I think capers are disgusting)
2 cans sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil (about ½ pound)
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put half the oil (2 tablespoons) in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, less than 5 minutes, and then remove. Add the remaining oil and the onion to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just tender; drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Turn the heat under the onions to medium-high and add the lemon zest, capers and sardines; cook, stirring occasionally, until just heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta to the sardine mixture and toss well to combine. Add the parsley, most of the bread crumbs and some reserved water, if necessary, to moisten. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnishing with more parsley and bread crumbs.
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