This dish came about because of a wine that was sent to me by Laithwaite’s, my wine purveyor. It was a 2018 Portinho do Covo, a Portuguese blend with ripe fruit flavors and full-bodied character that make it ideal with roasted red meats, and sardines? (yes, sardines). I had to try this. I enjoy red wine, even with fish. I don’t buy that hard and fast rule of white wine with seafood. You enjoy the wine you like with any food. But this sardine recommendation intrigued me.
I had to come up with a dish. I checked the cupboard found and I had tons of pasta, and a few cans of sardines. Now, for this recipe, I recommend wild canned sardines, if you can get them. The rest I made up as I went along. I combined onion, garlic, tomatoes and some broccoli stalks that I had saved to make cream of broccooli soup. The soup would wait. I cut the stalks into little pieces and added them to the mix. If you don’t like broccoli stalks then you can use broccoli florettes.
For the pasta, any tubular pasta will do. It can be penne, macaroni, elbow, ziti, even rigatoni. I decided on fusilli since I hadn’t had it in a while. You can also try a grain like rice, couscous or quinoa. As stated before, you are only limited by your imagination (and what’s on hand).
SARDINES AD VEGGIES WITH FUSILLI
1 pound fusilli
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup broccoli stalks (cut into serving pieces), or broccoli florettes
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 4.4-oz cans sardines
1 large tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1. Cook fusilli according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add broccoli stalks (or florettes) and cook 2 minutes. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in sardines with their liquid. Mix in tomato and oregano.
3. Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Top with sardine-veggie mixture and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.