EatSmarter exclusive recipe

Sicilian-Style Pasta

with Sardines and Fennel
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Sicilian-Style Pasta

Sicilian-Style Pasta - A sun-kissed Mediterranean meal, straight from the oven

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1 hr
ready in 1 hr 15 min.
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Nutritional values

One portion of this pasta covers the daily requirement of vitamin E, and three times the daily requirement of vitamin D. As an antioxidant, vitamin E protects all cell membranes, and vitamin D plays an essential role in the utilization of calcium and magnesium in bone metabolism, which are also found in high amounts in this recipe. 

To save extra calories, cook the sardines in the frying pan a few minutes longer and brown only 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in the cooking fat. This eliminates the need for pine nuts and butter topping.

1 serving contains
(Percentage of daily recommendation)
Calorie762 kcal(36 %)
Protein51 g(52 %)
Fat28 g(24 %)
Carbohydrates72 g(48 %)
Sugar added0 g(0 %)
Roughage17.5 g(58 %)
Vitamin A1.3 mg(163 %)
Vitamin D15.1 μg(76 %)
Vitamin E13.6 mg(113 %)
Vitamin B₁0.8 mg(80 %)
Vitamin B₂0.5 mg(45 %)
Niacin23.9 mg(199 %)
Vitamin B₆1.5 mg(107 %)
Folate136 μg(45 %)
Pantothenic acid2 mg(33 %)
Biotin19 μg(42 %)
Vitamin B₁₂0 μg(0 %)
Vitamin C82 mg(86 %)
Potassium1,473 mg(37 %)
Calcium387 mg(39 %)
Magnesium208 mg(69 %)
Iron11.2 mg(75 %)
Iodine50 μg(25 %)
Zinc8.3 mg(104 %)
Saturated fatty acids7.6 g
Uric acid712 mg
Cholesterol39 mg
Development of this recipe:


2 Fennel bulb
3 garlic
3 onions
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 Orange
½ lemon
2 tablespoons golden raisin
1 pinch Saffron
11 ounces Whole Wheat Spaghetti
2 tablespoons Pine nuts
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs (Preferably wholegrain)
12 cleaned Sardine
2 ½ tablespoons Pastry flour
1 ounce butter
How healthy are the main ingredients?
olive oilPine nutsFennel bulbgarliconionOrange

Kitchen utensils

2 Pots, 1 Non-stick pan, 1 Casserole dish, 1 Small bowl, 1 Plate, 1 Measuring cups, 1 Cutting board, 1 Large knife, 1 Small knife, 1 Tablespoon, 1 Teaspoon, 1 Wooden spoon, 1 Sieve, 1 Slotted spatula, 1 Brush, 1 Lid, 1 Citrus juicer, 1 Oven rack

Preparation steps

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 1

Rinse fennel, reserving green tops. Halve bulbs, then thinly slice. Peel and finely chop 2 of the garlic cloves. Peel the onions and slice thinly.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 2

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add fennel, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 3

Meanwhile, juice orange and lemon. Season fennel mixture with salt and pepper. Add raisins, saffron, and orange and lemon juices. Continue cooking, covered, about 10 minutes.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 4

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a sieve and rinse with cold water. Halve remaining garlic clove. Rub a large baking dish (16 x 10 inches) with garlic, then lightly coat with olive oil. Transfer spaghetti to baking dish.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 5

Finely chop pine nuts. In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, pine nuts and a few drops of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 6

Rinse sardines, pat dry and season lightly with salt inside and out. Dredge lightly in flour, tapping off excess. Heat remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the sardines about 2 minutes per side.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 7

Layer the fennel and onion mixture evenly over the spaghetti.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 8

Lay the sardines on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top, and top with small pieces of butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 12 minutes.

Sicilian-Style Pasta preparation step 9

Meanwhile, chop the reserved fennel fronds. Sprinkle over the fish just before serving.