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Sardine & Fennel Pasta

15 minutes prep
25 minutes active cooking
40 minutes total

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Inspired by the sardine pastas of Sicily, this dish packs a lot of flavor for something so simple.

It combines fresh fennel bulb and fennel seeds to mimic the more intense wild fennel Sicilians love. Use any good dried pasta, but short, twisty shapes hold the chunky sauce better.

What you'll need


For the shopping list

2 cloves of


1 bulb

Fresh Fennel

1 tablespoon of

Fennel Seeds

From our shop

Out of stock
2 packages of Sardines in Olive Oil

$7 - Matosinhos - Portugal

$19.50 - Sicily - Italy

Madre Terra

$9 - Gragnano NA - Italy

Penne Mezzani Rigate

$6 - Yolo Valley - California

Crushed Tomatoes

$5 - Naples - Italy

Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

$27 - Arrezo - Italy

Fennel Pollen


From the kitchen


Chef Knife




Large Pot for Pasta


What you'll have to do

Step 1

Put the pasta water on first. While it’s getting hot, trim the stalks from the fennel bulb. Pluck off any of the frilly fronds, chop, and set aside. Cut the bulb into roughly quarter inch chunks. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and use your hands to break them up.

Step 2

Cook the fennel with the fennel seeds in a healthy glug of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt until tender, about 15 minutes. Push the fennel to the edges of the pan, add a tablespoon of tomato paste, and let it cook for a minute.

Step 3

Chop the garlic and add it to the fennel, cook for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes. Add the sardines, breaking them up with a spoon, and a couple of teaspoons of fennel pollen. Simmer until the pasta is ready.

Step 4

Cook the pasta in well-salted water until you hit your preferred version of al dente (check the package for cooking time and start tasting the pasta when you get close). Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Let the pasta cook in the sauce for a minute or two, then stir in the chopped fennel fronds.

Shop this recipe

Out of stock
From the Sea

Spiced Sardines in Olive Oil

PinhaisMatosinhos - Portugal
Madre Terra
Olive Oil

Madre Terra

Madre TerraSicily - Italy
Penne Mezzani Rigate
Pasta & Tomatoes

Penne Mezzani Rigate

Pastificio dei CampiGragnano NA - Italy
Crushed Tomatoes
Pasta & Tomatoes

Crushed Tomatoes

Bianco di NapoliYolo Valley - California
Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
Pasta & Tomatoes

Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

San MarzanoNaples - Italy
Fennel Pollen
Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Fennel Pollen

BorghiniArrezo - Italy

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