The queen of sicilian cuisine

Ingredients for 4 people
320 g of bucatini Pasta
300 g fresh sardine fillets scaled, gutted, boned and headless
200 g mountain fennel, only the tenderest part
2 anchovy fillets in oil
20 g sultana raisins
20 g pine nuts
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 sachet of saffron
1/2 glass of white wine
50 g pan-toasted breadcrumbs
extra virgin olive oil


Boil the cleaned and washed fennel in plenty of salted water. Let them cook well, it will take about 10-12 minutes. As soon as they are cooked, drain them keeping the water. It is important not to throw it away, you will need it to cook the pasta.
Soak the raisins in a little warm water and put aside.
In a large, non-stick pan, chop garlic and onion and fry in oil. As soon as they are wilted and well cooked, add the anchovy fillets and flake them with a wooden spoon.
Add them to the pan together with the drained raisins and pine nuts.
Mix all the ingredients and finally add the sardine fillets. Let it cook slowly for a few minutes and let it take the flavor.
Pour in white wine, let it evaporate and add the fennel coarsely chopped with a knife.
Now, add saffron and 2 ladles of cooking water to finish the sauce. Cook over low heat for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if the sardine is pulped, it’s normal for it to happen.
At the end you will have to obtain a slightly soupy sauce, to add to the pasta.
In the meantime, boil the cooking water flavoured with fennel and cook the bucatini. Then, drain them al dente and pour them directly into the sauce with the sardines. Gently stir to reduce the sauce and release the starch from the pasta to create a nice creamy sauce. If you prefer, add a piece of breadcrumbs at this time, or after serving.
Before serving, let it rest for 2-3 minutes.

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