Montalbano loves to look out at the sea–so do I.
This view is from Sunset Beach North Carolina, not Sicily. Sigh.

Blog Post for April 4

Today is a double good post day! I am guesting on the Kings River Life blog today with tips on keeping your food safe. Certainly Adelina follows good safety practices when cooking for our friend Montalbano.

Today I am offering another dish from Terra Cotta Dog—and it probably appears in several other books. It’s a delightful specialty, hard to make here where we do not have easy access to good, fresh sardines.

Checking on prep tips, it is important to note that you do not have to gut fresh sardines. Just cut off the head and scale them. You can use canned sardines in this recipe, but if you do, know that the flavor is entirely different, and choose a tin of sardines that is packed in olive oil—not another, cheaper oil.

Here is my adaptation of a recipe, made with canned sardines. The taste is strong, but maybe that will bring Sicily all the closer.

Pasta Con Le Sarde

1/c cup dry white wine

1 ½ ounces golden raisins

Pinch of saffron (optional)

¼ cup pine nuts

1 clove of garlic, diced

1 T olive oil

Half of a bulb of fennel, braised

½ cup sliced onion

Italian breadcrumbs for topping

2 8- ounce tins of sardines, skinless, boneless

(You can either use the oil from the cans or add additional olive oil)

Reserve some of the pasta water

1 Pound of bucatini pasta (can also use spaghetti)

Fresh parsley for garnish.­­


Sauté the fennel and the onion and garlic in the 1T of oil/ When they are soft, add the sardines , saffron, pine nuts, and raisins.

Cook the pasta almost to the point of al dente. Drain it. Add it to the pan with the other ingredients to finish cooking. If it looks dry, add pasta water. Before serving, add a bit of breadcrumbs.

Garnish with fresh parsley.

Published by Jil

Joan Leotta is an author and story performer. Her books include a four-book series about strong women, Legacy of Honor, a collection of short stories, Simply a Smile, and a picture book, WHOOSH! for children that stresses the importance of parents, especially Dads.Her second picture book, Summer in a Bowl will be out in September. She’s a passionate shell collector and can often be found stooping over bits of beach near her home in Calabash. Joan is available to speak on writing , grief share or perform at schools, women’s groups, libraries and festivals, You can contact her at or follow her blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.comStoryteller

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