Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pasta with crispy sardine and oregano breadcrumbs

Pasta with crispy sardine and oregano breadcrumbs / Espaguete com farofinha crocante de sardinha e orégano

When I was a kid, my mom was always making something with canned sardines: they were cheap and a good staple for a family with a limited budget. One of the things she made the most was a sardine salad to be eaten in a sandwich – the same thing as a tuna salad, but made with sardines instead, it was delicious! I loved it.

Because of that, it is impossible not to think of mom whenever I see canned sardines, and when I saw this gorgeous can while food shopping in my last trip I knew I would not come home without it. A couple of weeks ago a new issue of the beautiful Donna Hay magazine arrived and there I found a recipe of pasta served with crispy breadcrumbs dotted with pieces of canned sardines – it was the perfect way of using my treasure.

This pasta dish is very simple and straightforward, I made it for a lazy Sunday lunch and it was ready in no time at all – my husband wasn’t too crazy about the sardine breadcrumbs, but I was more than happy to eat his share by the spoonful. :)

Pasta with crispy sardine and oregano breadcrumbs
slightly adapted from the always fantastic Donna Hay Magazine

400g spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves, packed
50g canned sardines, drained and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 ripe roma tomatoes, deseeded and cut into wedges
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Before draining, reserve ½ cup (120ml) of the water to use in the sauce.

In the meantime, make the sauce: heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs, oregano and sardines and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden and crispy. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and keep warm.

Wipe the frying pan clean with a piece of paper towel and add the remaining olive oil. Heat over medium, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, then season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved cooking liquid and the balsamic vinegar, stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve topped with the sardine breadcrumbs.

Serves 4

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