• Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, very thinly sliced, reserve the fronds for garnish
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 8 ounces fresh sardine fillets, or fillets from 1 pound whole sardines, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup dry Marsala, or dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti
  • ½ cup, heaping, unseasoned breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped – optional

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  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and fennel in the olive oil, add the anchovies and mash into a paste. When the onion is golden, add the sardines and Marsala wine and cook for two minutes. Dissolve saffron in the fish stock -if you don’t have fish stock, you can substitute with water – and add to the skillet. Add the raisins, toasted pine nuts, and salt and pepper and cook for five minutes.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than package directions), drain, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the sardines. Toss together and cook for an additional minute or so – add reserved cooking water if the pasta seems too dry.
  4. Garnish with breadcrumbs, almonds, chopped fennel fronds to serve.
  5. Serve immediately.