Pasta con le sarde

Pasta con le sarde (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpasta kon le ˈsarde]; Sicilian: Pasta chî sardi) is a Sicilian dish of pasta with sardines and anchovies.[1][2] It is recognized as a traditional Italian food product in the Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale scheme of the Italian government.[3] It is most associated with Sicily's capital Palermo, but it can be found all over the island.[4]

Pasta con le sarde
Pasta con le sarde (Palermo).jpg
Pasta con le sarde prepared in Palermo, Sicily
CourseMain course
Place of originItaly
Region or stateSicily
Main ingredientsPasta, sardines, anchovy, wild fennel, saffron, pine nuts, raisins, breadcrumbs


The principal ingredients are olive oil, onions, pasta and a finely chopped mixture of sardines and anchovy. Various types of pasta are used for the dish, but bucatini is traditional. Wild fennel, saffron, pine nuts, raisins and salt are added to flavor the dish. To finish the dish it is topped with toasted breadcrumbs. Fresh sardines are preferable, but if these are not available canned sardines can be used. Wild fennel is plentiful in Sicily, but might be hard to find elsewhere; if unobtainable, the tops of ordinary fennel may be used instead.[5]

Some variations use tomato sauce. Cookbook author Pino Correnti argues that the tomato-less recipe published in 1886 by the folklorist Giuseppe Pitrè is the only authentic version.[4]

Cultural referencesEdit

In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, late justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Antonin Scalia stated, in response to his interviewer's query, that "pasta con sarde" is his favorite pasta dish.[6]


  1. ^ Wolff, C. (2016). The Spiralizer Recipe Book: From Apple Coleslaw to Zucchini Pad Thai, 150 Healthy and Delicious Recipes. Adams Media. p. 395. ISBN 978-1-4405-9441-0. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Sicily. Globetrotter: Guide and Map Series. New Holland. 2008. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-84773-099-2. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. "Quattordicesima revisione dell'elenco dei prodotti agroalimentari tradizionali" (in Italian).
  4. ^ a b Stefano, George De (25 October 2013). "Pasta with sardines: Sicily's irresistible flavors, in one dish". {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ Hazan, Marcella (2012). The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 9780752228044.
  6. ^ "Piers Morgan Tonight: Interview with Antonin Scalia." (Aired 18 July 2012). Retrieved 23 January 2016.