Though not a super authentic version, this Sardinian Pasta Recipe does embody some wonderful Italian flavors, it includes tasty, salty sardines and is named after the Island of Sardinia. I think a traditional Sardinian pasta dish usually includes saffron and sausage. And by “I think,” I mean it’s an educated guess.
This is not at all a traditional dish from Sardinia, and both of those (albeit delicious), ingredients are not in it.
However, I’m calling a “Sardinian Pasta Recipe,” for two reasons:
- One, it sounds really exotic. After all, did you know Sardinia is its own island? And doesn’t anything named after an Italian island sound tasty!?
- And two, there are in fact sardines in this recipe.
So there you have it. My Sardinian Pasta is a deeply flavorful, beautiful, comfort food. Really, really comforting. And to add even more comfort to a comfort food dish, it’s often a good idea to crack an egg over it!
What a great meal this would be for a casual gathering with friends this weekend! Do it!
Sardinian Pasta Recipe
- 8- ounces Pappardelle pasta
- 4 large red bell peppers roasted and peeled (Here's how to roast and peel peppers.)
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 6 small to medium-sized roughly chopped garlic cloves (about 1/4 cup)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 cup roughly chopped seeded, fresh tomato
- 4 wild sardines in olive oil backbones removed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pasta water saved from cooking Pappardelle -- see recipe instructions below
- 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
- 4 large eggs
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until it's very aldente -- it will finish cooking with the sauce later. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to a small bowl and set is aside. Then, drain the pasta, toss with a bit of olive oil, cover, and set that aside, too.
- Remove the stems and all of the seeds from 3 of the roasted and peeled peppers. Add them to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, or a blender, and purée them until they are as smooth as possible. Set aside.
- Remove the stem and seeds from the last roasted and peeled pepper, and cut it into thin slices. Set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and place it over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and let become slightly golden, about 4 minutes.
- Add the oregano, puréed peppers, sliced peppers, olives, tomato, and sardines. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Add the 1/2 cup pasta water, spinach, the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, sugar and the cooked pasta. Gently stir to coat all of the pasta and evenly distribute the sauce.
- Create 4 small openings in the pasta, with a few inches between them. Crack 1 egg into each opening. Sprinkle the eggs with a bit of salt and the chile flakes.
- Cover with a fitted lid or foil, turn the heat to low, and simmer until the eggs are cooked the way you like them. For a soft yolk, it's about 10 minutes.
Recipe NotesI highly recommend using wild sardines -- my favorite are Wild Planet. Sustainably caught in the Pacific Ocean, they are really delicious!
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