With cans of specialty imported sardines in hand, I thought to make something a little different, instead of just eating them my usual way, plain. Pasta came to mind, as it often does.
The Sicilians have a classic dish pairing sardines with golden raisins and wild fennel, for a sweet and sour combination that plays beautifully against the rich fish. But the traditional dish calls for fresh sardines. And wild fennel, while apparently abundant on the Italian island, is nearly impossible to find here.
It seemed, though, that good canned sardines and fennel bulb could stand in. Adapting a traditional recipe from Made in Sicily by Giorgio Locatelli, following guidelines from a recipe using canned sardines from Epicurious.com, did the trick.
Leave out the saffron, pine nuts and fennel seed if you don’t have them on hand. You’ll still have a tasty dish.