Sardine and Bread Crumb Pasta with Puttanesca Salad
- 1 pound linguine, fresh or dried
- 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 6 anchovies (1 tin flat fillets), chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley tops (4 or 5 handfuls), divided; 1/2 coarsely chopped, 1/2 finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 12 to 15 fresh basil leaves, cut or torn into a chiffonade
- Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 (4-ounce) tins sardines, drained and chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Combine the tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, anchovies, and the coarsely chopped parsley in a medium bowl. Dress with the lemon juice and a healthy drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, enough to lightly coat the salad (1 to 2 tablespoons). Sprinkle in the basil and salt and pepper, toss again and adjust the seasoning.
Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. To the hot pan, add the 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (4 times around the pan), and half the chopped garlic cloves. When the garlic speaks by sizzling in the oil, add the bread crumbs. Stir the bread crumbs until they are deeply golden in color. Add the finely chopped parsley and a liberal amount of salt and coarse black pepper. Transfer the bead crumbs to a dish and reserve.
Return the same skillet to the heat and add the 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 3 times around the pan. Add the remaining garlic, the sardines, and red pepper flakes to the pan and saute over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the hot, cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the sardines. Add the bread crumbs to the pot and toss thoroughly to combine and evenly distribute the mixture. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve with the Puttanesca Salad alongside.