PASTA WITH SARDINES (PASTA CON LE SARDE)

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Called pasta che sardi or pasta chi sardi (depending on where you are in the island) in local dialect, the period to prepare this dish is between March and September when the fresh sardines are more available in the fish markets and when the wild fennel are out.

 

Ingredients:
Serves 4

  • 300 g. long pasta (bucatini, mezza zitti, perciatelli or spaghetti)
  • 200 g. wild fennel
  • 350 g. fresh sardines, cleaned (heads taken away), descaled & opened flat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 – 6 salted anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water, drained & patted dry
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron dissolved in 2 tbsp. hot water
  • 40 g. toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a cooking pot and add salt & fennel.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then drain, reserving the water to cook the pasta.
  2. Squeeze the fennel to remove excess moisture & pat dry with kitchen paper towels.  Chop coarsely.  Set aside.
  3. Saute’ the onion in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.   Add the anchovies, crushing them with a fork so that they dissolve in the oil.
  4. Add the sardines, raisins, pine nuts and toasted almonds.  Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Cook over a moderate heat for 10 minutes before adding the fennel & saffron.  Stir gently to avoid breaking up the fish (Mine did, however careful I was!).
  6. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for another 10 minutes.   If it is becoming too dry, ladle some hot fennel-flavored water that you are keeping for cooking the pasta.
  7. Bring the fennel-flavored water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook following the cooking time suggested in the package reducing it by a minute to make it al dente.
  8. Mix the pasta with the sauce.   Mix toasted breadcrumbs & sugar together then sprinkle on the pasta.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Lemon Rice with Cashews

This traditional South Indian style rice is served as a side dish at feasts and weddings. Use leftover rice (from your Chinese carry out), or make some fresh rice to use in this recipe. Brown basmati rice can be substituted for white basmati, but the contrast of colors of the finished dish are more beautiful when using white rice.

 

ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon yellow split peas (chana dal)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 red chili peppers, halved lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida powder (available at Asian or Indian markets)
  • 4 curry leaves (available at Asian or Indian markets)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger root
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons roasted cashews
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro as garnish

directions

  1. Have rice at room temperature. Soak the split peas in a cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add drained split peas, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili peppers, asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté until mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the ginger, turmeric, cashews and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and lemon juice and heat through. Garnish with chopped cilantro or grated lemon zest.

 

 

 

Corn On The Cob Medallions

 

Super simple, tasty and a very interesting way to serve corn on the cob. This recipe was inspired by corn served at Menla Mountain Retreat for dinner one evening this year during the “Yogis and the Buddha” retreat. I’ve recommended brushing the “medallions” with spicy chipotle butter, but just plain, unadorned medallions can be very tasty as well.

ingredients

  • 6 ears corn, husked
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons butter, oil or coconut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Powdered dried chipotle for dusting
  • Yield: 8-12 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 12 Minutes

directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Cut the corn into ½-inch thick rounds and transfer to a shallow baking dish.
  3. Combine the tamari, mirin, lime juice, cilantro, butter and salt in a small mixing bowl. Pour this mixture over the corn then turn the rounds of corn to coat evenly with the tamari mixture. Sprinkle a light dusting of chipotle powder over the medallions. The medallions may be prepared up to 3 hours in advance to this point if covered and refrigerated.
  4. Place the corn in the preheated oven and cook until piping hot and lightly browned. Serve immediately.