Perciatelli with Fresh Sardines
- 3 pounds fresh sardines
- 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 cup currants, soaked 15 minutes in warm water and drained
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 anchovies (salted variety), rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup fennel leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 pound Perciatelli pasta, preferably Italian
- 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
- 2 bunches Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/2 cup
Bring 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Scale, gut and fillet sardines (you can also ask your fish monger to do this for you).
In a 12- to 14-inch saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until just smoking. Add onion, currants, pine nuts, anchovies and red pepper and cook until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add sardine fillets and fennel leaves and continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes, until fish pieces have just cooked, stirring carefully.
Cook pasta according to package instructions until just al dente and drain well. Toss hot pasta into pan with sardines and stir to coat. Add 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs and parsley. Stir through and serve immediately. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs.
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