Skip to content
Shop our Holiday sale! Save 15% off select items at checkout. Use code HOLIDAY23.
Shop our Holiday sale! Save 15% off select items at checkout. Use code HOLIDAY23.

Sicilian Pasta with Fennel and Anchovies

By Cheryl Forgberg
Image of Sicilian Pasta with Fennel and Anchovies
Pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines) is a traditional Sicilian dish. Loaded with local fish and fennel, this rendition substitutes anchovies for sardines and adds red onion, lemon, currants, and pine nuts for a boost in flavor and texture. Wild fennel grows abundantly in Sicily. In the US, it is grown predominantly in California and Arizona. Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine pairing, not only for the pasta sauce but to accompany the meal as well. Traditionally served with spaghetti or linguine, I accidentally cut my fresh pasta into fettuccine today, but it worked perfectly. If you don’t like anchovies, you may omit them for a fabulous vegan dish.

Sicilian Pasta with Anchovies, Fennel, and Pine Nuts
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as an appetizer
Image of ingredients for Sicilian Pasta with Fennel and Anchovies
8 ounces dry linguine or 12 oz pound fresh linguine
½ cup red onion, finely diced
½ cup fennel, finely diced (fennel tops reserved)
6 anchovies, chopped (I used drained oil-packed anchovies)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Melissa’s pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup Melissa’s dried currants or raisins
3 tablespoons olive oil (or use the anchovy oil if you’re an anchovy lover!)

Fennel tops
Lemon zest
Whole anchovies (1 per serving)

Image of heated pan with oil
Heat medium pan of water to boiling; add salt. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water—reserve 2 cups of pasta water when draining. Set aside pasta; set aside reserved pasta water.
Image of onions in heated pan
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil to heat. Add the onion, fennel and chopped anchovies and sauté until soft, but not colored.
Image of anchovies
Add the white wine and lemon juice. Reduce until the pan is nearly dry, then stir in the toasted pine nuts and currents. Add ½ cup pasta water.
Image of cooked pasta and sauce
Add drained pasta and gently toss to coat the pasta. Add more pasta water if necessary to make it a bit saucier.
Image of cooked pasta with anchovies
Season with black pepper. It shouldn’t need salt because of the anchovies, but add salt if needed.
Image of Sicilian Pasta with Fennel and Anchovies
Divide between plates and garnish with fennel fronds, lemon zest and top with an anchovy.
Previous article Spicy Mango and Hatch Pepper Chutney
Next article Fresh From the Garden: Eggplant Puttanesca

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields