The most perfect pasta sauce

The most perfect pasta sauce


In Colman Andrews’ book Flavours of the Riviera, the author describes a casual after-dinner conversation with the owner of Da Puny Restaurant in Portofino. The restaurant was, and still is, catering for well-to-do international guests to Portofino. The author got the busy restaurant owner talking about the real Ligurian cuisine.

During the conversation the restaurant owner revealed his opinion of the most perfect pasta sauce in the world. “You have to cook it on a boat. You catch some sardines, then you grill them right on deck. Then you put olive oil, capers and garlic in a pan-that’s all-and throw in the sardines. Put that on some pasta and you simply don’t need anything else. It’s the best.”

Well, here in Nice we don’t own a boat to catch some sardines, but we do often have very fresh sardine fillets in our local supermarket. So I decided to give this simple recipe a try.

Here is my recipe based on the description of the dish. Is it “the best in the world”? That is for everyone to decide, if you have access to really fresh sardines.

2 servings

About 250- 300 g very fresh sardine fillets
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tsp. tasty Italian capers
Whole wheat spaghetti for 2 servings
Fresh chives to decorate

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Clean the sardine fillets with kitchen paper and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti until al dente. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute the minced garlic. Add the capers and the grilled sardines.

Drain the pasta and divide in two bowls. Divide the pasta sauce over the spaghetti and decorate with chives.





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