Stuffed sardines is a typical Sicilian fish course particularly associated with the city of Palermo. The basis of the dish, which is well-known and appreciated throughout Italy, is the sardine, a tasty and filling fish that has been included in the list of traditional Italian food products. The recipe involves making a mixture of parsley and finely chopped garlic, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, raisins, sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Of course, there are many variations: for example, there are those who prefer to cook them in a lighter way, favouring baking them or simply coating in breadcrumbs and frying in hot oil; the final decision is yours. So enjoy our recipe and follow the photo gallery to get the most out of your sardines; show off on a special occasion or perhaps just on a lovely summer evening!
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of parsley
6 anchovies in oil
Serves 4 persons
Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan, heat and add 80 g of breadcrumbs. Fry them for a few minutes and then put them in a bowl with the drained raisins, pine nuts, chopped parsley, salt, pepper and chopped anchovies. Mix the ingredients well. Clean the sardines and remove the head, tail and the central bone, rinse them under running water and dab with paper towels. Grease the bottom of a small ovenproof dish, put in a first layer of sardines with their backs facing down, and cover with the breadcrumb mixture. Continue until all the ingredients have been used - finish with a generous sprinkling of breadcrumbs and a few drops of olive oil. Bake at 180 °C for about 35 minutes.
Did you know that there are different ways to make these sardines? For example, in Catania ‘caciocavallo’ cheese is used, and instead of rolling them up they are arranged like a sandwich, one above the other with the filling in the middle. Try this variant following our recipe!
Stuffed sardines are known as ‘Le sarde a beccafico’ and takes its name from a type of warbler, a fat and tasty bird that feeds on figs, gaining weight during the holiday season. For this reason, ‘stuffed’ sardines are thought to look like this bird.