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Thai-Talian Sardine & Tomato Pasta Sauce
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    Thai-Talian Sardine & Tomato Pasta Sauce

  • 3-4oz(75-100g) spaghetti or other pasta - such as penne or rigatoni per person.
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (or more to taste)
  • Chiles - to your taste (see notes at the end)
  • 1x14oz(400g) tin tomatoes
  • 1(or2)x4.5oz(120g) tin sardines in oil (Preferably olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Thai Fish Sauce (or more to taste)
  • A good handful fresh Coriander(cilantro) - coarsley chopped
  • A squirt of lime or lemon juice - to taste (optional - or serve with a wedge)
  • Carefully drain the oil from one tin of sardines into a saucepan (see notes). Slowly bring up the heat (to avoid the juices in the oil spitting to much). Add the onions, & fry gently for a minute, then add the garlic, stir for a minute, then add the chiles. Just before the onions are really soft, add the contents of the tin of tomatoes. Break tomatoes up (if they are not already chopped), bring to the boil, then cover & simmer gently, stirring occasionally.
    After approx. 15 minutes, bring pasta water to the boil, & cook the pasta according to directions.

    About 5 minutes before the pasta is done, add the sardines to the sauce & stir to break up the fish. After a couple of minutes, add the Fish Sauce & lime or lemon juice (if used). Check for seasoning, & add more fish sauce & lime/lemon if needed, & some black pepper. If the sauce looks to watery, leave the lid off for the last couple of minutes

    Just before the pasta is cooked, add the coriander (cilantro) and stir, then remove from heat.

    Drain pasta, mix with the sauce & serve with a little extra coriander, lemon/lime wedges, & finely chopped or sliced chile.

    Chiles - I usually use one or two Scotch Bonnets, sliced into rings, as their flavour works well with fish. Failing that, I use fresh Thai's or Jalapenos, although any chiles - dried or fresh, work well.

    Sardines - I find that using the canning oil to fry the onions etc. adds to the flavour. If you use two tins, use only the oil from one of them - discard the rest. If you are fat conscious, then sardines canned in brine or water are fine (but discard the liquid). Use fresh if you want (but add to the sauce earlier). For the last two options, you will need to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the recipe.

    Add a bell pepper or two (red, green, orange or yellow). Use different fish (oily is best). Use a tin of anchovies (1 3/4 oz (50g)) instead of the fish sauce.

    Make the sauce without the sardines, cook only for about 10 minutes, then use it as a sauce to cover & bake fresh fish (eg Mackerel). Garnish with sliced bell pepper, cover and bake for about 20 mins at gas mark 5/190C/375F

    From: Paul Richards
    Posted By: Chile Head Mailing List
    Post Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998



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