Rolled Sardines

Rolled Sardines

Alessandro Clemente

When people imagine the quaint villages and seascapes of Italy, they are often thinking of Sicily. Though completely separate, an island unto itself, from the mainland of Italy, Sicily embodies much of what an American would imagine to be Italy. Today’s recipe comes straight from the hills of Palermo and the docks of the Sicilian coast. The recipe today is for a unique twist on rolled sardines. This is something most Americans have never even heard of. Sure, sardines are used as an infrequent pizza topping, but what about a whole meal in which they are the focal point?

Sardines in America always come canned and, for some reason, most people do not care for them. The fish in today’s recipe are the freshly caught sardines that offer the rich flavors of the sea mixed with a distinct freshness that cannot be found in canned sardine varieties!

What You’ll Need

  • 2 pounds fresh sardines
  • Bay leaves to taste
  • ½ an orange for juicing
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Parsley to taste
  • 2 fillets of sardines in oil
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste

What You’ll Do

  1. Clean and fillet your fresh sardines
  2. Place a bit of oil and your breadcrumbs into a pan and allow to cook on low heat
  3. Once evenly browned, place into a bowl
  4. Chop your parsley and your sardines in oil
  5. In a bowl combine your raisins, breadcrumbs, parsley, anchovies, and pine nuts
  6. Mix well and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste
  7. Once well blended, use a spoon to place your filling into the center (stomach) of your filleted fresh sardines
  8. Once filled, roll them in on themselves and place them close together on a baking pan. You can use a toothpick to keep them closed
  9. Place your bay leaves between each of your rolled sardines
  10. Sprinkle the top of your sardines with a bit of extra breadcrumbs
  11. Sprinkle the top of the pan with your orange juice, olive oil, and honey
  12. Bake your sardines in an oven set to 350 for 25 minutes
  13. Take them from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes covered by aluminum foil
  14. Once well rested, take them from the pan and serve hot!

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