Pasta Con La Sarde (Pasta and Sardines In Tomato Sauce)

How to stay healthy during WWIII.
This was a tough one for me. I hate sardines. All my life I've hated sardines. Even though I never tried them. Oh sure, the obvious response is "How do you know whether you like it or not, if you've never tried it?". Well, I've never tried falling off a cliff to see if I would like that, either. It's the "idea" of sardines that gives me the creeps. It, along with tongue, brains, much of fish and shellfish, is "out of my comfort zone". But I did ween my way into eating fish via Ronald McDonald's sanitized fishy-like "Filet-O-Fish" sandwich. Then I graduated from there to sole, halibut, and pollack. Finally, I broke a new "fish barrier" with shrimp (which I'm still kind of grossed about), because try and find a good pad thai at a restaurant without it. Then another barrier was gently ignored, when someone got me to eat scallops. Buttered in pasta. (Just don't show me what they look like in their original form). My last fishy-barrier was broken when I held in the desire to throw up at the thought of eating salmon. Pink just doesn't seem like a good colour for food. Salmon, I admit, is good eatin'. Don't have much of any problem with it today. But sardines? That's another story. There's absolutely nothing in me naturally gravitating toward sardines.

aka Portugese Bacon
I preferred to stick to tuna. It's safe, and it looks like chicken. I don't have to imagine what it originally looks like, since I only eat it from a can. So I don't have a problem with it. That is, until I learned that I'm not supposed to eat tuna very often, because some varieties contain certain levels of mercury. "Mercury" may have a cool name, like planetary cool, but it's actually very not good for you. Enter The Sardine.

I recently read some compelling information about these little buggers, and how healthy they are for you. They are an excellent source of omega-3, B12, selenium, calcium, Vitamin D, and other key nutrients. (Omega-3 & vitamin D are very beneficial, but very difficult to obtain in any natural food sources). On top of which, sardines are one of the cleanest and safest fish to eat. Because of their size and place in the pecking order, there's no real danger of mercury poisoning. Which means they can be eaten far more often than other fish. If that wasn't enough, canned sardines are a lot cheaper than fresh salmon. The only problem with them of course is.... I hate sardines. But I needed to improve my diet, which means I knew they could help me do that.

A lifetime's worth of
exotic gourmet fish dish
for people who don't like fish.
So, armed with this new appreciation for sardines, I decided that maybe it was time to experiment. Maybe it was time to actually try sardines, and see if I can live with myself afterward. Maybe it just needs the right recipe, to make me forget I'm eating sardines? So my plan was to make a sardine meal "for people who hate sardines". Preferably a simple recipe, that could be made easily and often. Like pasta. And something with tomato sauce. Because tomato sauce is great for covering up the flavour of everything else in a dish. Since the sardines already came in oil, it seemed natural to fry it up in its own oil, and not add any or take any away. I would say I succeeded in my goal, at least in the opinion of others. Because I served this sardines with pasta in tomato sauce to a couple of friends, who also do not like even the idea of eating sardines. And they had no idea I put sardines in there. Yet they thought the dish was delish.

As for me, well.... I have survived my first and second experiences of eating pan-fried sardines in a heavy sauce. I'm still kind of queasy about it, but I haven't upchucked the nutrients they provided me, so that's good. It may be something of an acquired taste I haven't quite yet acquired. So I bought a bunch of cans of sardines of different flavors, as I intend to persist, and try it in different recipes to see if I will fully shed my aversion to it. And with that delicious introduction, here is today's recipe.... Pasta and Sardines In Tomato Sauce.....


In a medium skillet, dump the can of sardines, along with their oil. Cook on med (lower heat a bit if too much splattering occurs), a few minutes until crispy, and browning. (Mash them with a fork, if you don't want to taste large pieces). Add a few cloves of garlic, mashed, minced or sliced. Cook a minute, as they soften. Throw in a few minced shallots if you have them. Add a few sun-dried tomatoes, and/or olives, and/or capers, and/or a few mushrooms. Soften these a bit in th hot oil, and add one can of tomato paste. Mix well, and add water to achieve a medium consistency; or however you prefer your pasta sauce. Add this sauce to your favorite cooked pasta, along with parmesan cheese for topping.


Post a Comment

The Recipeless Cook © 2008 | Créditos: Templates Novo Blogger