Very few dishes are as Sicilian as pasta con le sarde, a pasta dish (typically bucatini) interlaced with sweet and sour ingredients, such as wild fennel, onions, currants, pine nuts and, of course, fresh sardines, and topped with bread crumbs.
For this loose interpretation, fresh sardines are replaced with good oil-packed sardines and placed on toasted bread that's been generously slathered with crème fraîche.
To learn more, read "Fin City."
Sardine Tartine with Currants, Pine Nuts and Sweet-and-Sour Onions
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 fresh bay leaf
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons currants
¾ cup crème fraîche
6 thick slices country loaf bread, toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tins good-quality sardines packed in oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
Squeeze of lemon
1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Simmer until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. In a small mixing bowl, place the onions and currants. Pour the vinegar over and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
3. Spread a generous amount of crème fraîche on top of each piece of toast and season with salt and pepper. Place a few sardine fillets on each piece and top with onion-currant mixture, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve.