Caponata Con Sarde

Though many people throw up their hands in horror at the thought of Morrison’s Supermarkets as ‘Pie Central’ there can be little doubt that they consistently have a great variety of fresh fish and at a good price.  Lidl [OMG not another portal to shopping hell!] usually has excellent large, purple, and largely seedless, aubergines at about half the price of other supermarkets.  Plus they have a great selection of Olives too!

For this recipe for 4 you will need:

8 Fresh sardine fillets; 2 large Aubergines, cut into about 1 cm slices; 4 large tablespoons of green olives; 4 garlic cloves, fine sliced; 1 red onion, fine sliced; 2 tbsp large capers; white wine vinegar, half small glass; 2 tbsp dried oregano; flat leaf parsley or coriander to garnish; and good quality olive oil. I can Organic Italian chopped tomatoes. Good quality broad ribbon pasta, Manfredini or Riccia are my favourites.

Heat a large solid pan, and pour in a good measure of olive oil.  Lay in the aubergine slices and turn to coat evenly.  Sprinkle the oregano and turning the heat up cook them on high ’til golden brown on each side. Then add the onion and garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes, ensuring that the garlic doesn’t begin to burn.  Add the olives and capers then pour over the vinegar and stir.  When it has evaporated, add the tomatoes, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.  Then add 4 of the sardine fillets, stir in, and simmer for another 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile bring your pasta water to a rolling boil, adding a tsp of sea salt and a shot of olive oil.  Feed in the pasta, about 100 – 125 g per person if they enjoy their food, 75 g if they are ‘sparrows’

Check for seasoning [if you really must!]  Then, while the pasta cooks, lay the other 4 fillets on top, neatly arranged so you don’t have to squabble over portions afterwards.  When the pasta is AD, drain and serve onto warmed plates or dishes.  Spoon on the Caponata, with one fillet per person and sprinkle the parsley or coriander.   Buono Appetito!

If, by any faint chance, you have any left over after serving it is equally delicious eaten cold as an antipasto



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