Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Dinner on a shoestring: Sicilian sardine spaghetti

on July 28, 2011

Times are tough, and they’re getting tougher.  The price of everything has gone up, and continues to rise, and if you’re lucky enough to have a job, the chances are you won’t be getting a salary increase, in fact you may be asked to take a pay cut.  So, frugal food that also tastes nice is a must.  And you can’t get much more frugal than sardines. 

Plus they’re packed full of flavour and lots of the good fats and other nutrients, and are low in calories and other bad things.  This recipe also doesn’t have a cream base so it’s relatively low in calories.   Apparently my recipe has 400 calories – which isn’t bad for a dinner.  You can even have a pudding without going over 500 calories.    Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and forgot to take a photo of it – but it goes to show that dinner can be made in 30 minutes – Jamie should take lessons from me!

I found the original recipe here but of course, I changed it.  Tescos is much higher in calories – don’t ask me why – maybe it’s because they put more oil or currants in it than mine. 

I’m not sure why it’s Sicilian, other than it has orange and lemon zest in it, but it sounds good, so I kept the name.

Sicilian sardine spaghetti

Serves 2

  • 170g spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely choppped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
  • zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted (you can leave these out if you don’t have them)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 olives, halved (I used green)
  • 1 tin sardines
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 30g parmesan, grated
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.  Drain and set aside until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in the pan and fry the onion, garlic, fennel seeds and zests on a low heat until the onion is softened.
  3. Add the pine nuts, tomatoes and olives, and cook for a further 2 minutes until the tomatoes start  to soften
  4. Add the sardines, breaking them up with your spatula or spoon along with seasoning  and parsley to taste.  Mix well to combine.
  5. Toss in the spaghetti and the remaining oil, stir well to mix and serve immediately with a sprinkling of parmesan on top
  6. Enjoy with a feeling of being all healthily frugal. 

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