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Pasta con Sarde

by Chef Ryan McGuire (Click on link below for more information about this recipe)

Base- yields 80oz or 10, 1Cup portions

Olive Oil-2oz

Fennel seed- 2tsp

Pine nuts- 3 Tbsp

Fennel, small dice- 2 Cup

Onion, small dice- 1 Cup

Celery, small dice- ½ Cup

Carrot, small dice- ½ Cup

Crushed red pepper- ¼ tsp

Tomato paste- 1tsp

Currants or raisin- 1/3 Cup

Tomato, crushed, canned- 2, 28oz cans

Sardines, canned- 3(4.23oz) cans, strained

Saffron- about 15 threads

Lemon juice and reserved zest- 1 lemon (about 1.5- 2Tbsp)

Kosher salt- ¼ tsp + ¾ tsp

Sugar- ¾ tsp

  • In a sauce pot, on medium heat add oil and pine nuts. Continuously stir pine nuts to brown evenly.  When pine nuts are beginning to brown add fennel seeds stirring for about 30 seconds.
  • Add fennel, onion, celery, carrot and stir together with oil, pine nuts and fennel. Sweat vegetables until vegetables become softened.
  • Add crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp salt and tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables with tomato paste. Cook another minute or two.
  • Add one can of crushed tomato, saffron threads, sardines and currants. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Pulse mixture in a food processor, blender or food mill to form a nice thick and semi-chunky paste.

**(This base can be packed and frozen for a later date or continue on to the next step)

  • Put base mixture back into your sauce pot and add the second can of crushed tomato, ¾ tsp of salt and ¾ tsp of sugar cook on low heat for another 20-30 minutes.

For plating pasta-

Cook pasta (bucatini is traditional but if you can’t find, spaghetti will due) in boiling salted water until al dente.  Strain pasta keeping a bowl under strainer to reserve a couple cups of salted pasta water.  Return pasta back to the pot and quickly add some of your sauce to prevent it from sticking.  Add enough sauce to coat pasta, add some of the reserved salted pasta water to thin out the mixture a little. Plate your pasta and extra sauce can be ladled on if desired.  Recommended traditional toppings are toasted bread crumbs.  Some other great suggestions are toasted fennel seeds, lemon zest, capers, fennel fronds, toasted pine nuts

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