Ziti con le Sarde e Cicoria
Fresh sardines are simply the best, up there with fresh anchovies, packed with omega 3s and all kinds of good things. They are a hassle to clean, I will give you that, not as smooth as the rip and gut of an anchovy, they put up a fight. I had great plans for these sardines, but by the time I finished cleaning them I lost the energy to get too fancy. I used them instead in a pasta, tossed with fresh chicory, onions and capers. It may not have been on the agenda, but it was absolutely delicious.
I took the idea of using the cicoria in the pasta from an older recipe that I had made with cicoria and olive pate. I believe that that was the original plan that I had for using the cicoria in the first place, so it really ended up being a happy marriage.
Ziti con la Sarde e la Cicoria
- 1 lb Casareccie
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 300 grams (a little more than 1/2 lb) cicoria or dandelion greens
- 1tbsp salted capers, rinsed
- 1 lb fresh sardines
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
Clean the sardines and remove the spines, if they don’t stay intact, that is ok, they will break up even more in the pan. Wash the greens thoroughly and tear them up into small pieces.
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and the cicoria and cook for the time indicated on the bag of pasta to cook it al dente.
In the meantime heat the oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onion. When the onion starts to sizzle add the capers and the sardines, cook over a low flame.
When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta and the cicoria. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta and the cicoria into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Serve immediately.