Storecupboard “Sicilian” not-pesto

This is an even lazier version of Nigella’s Sicilian pesto, from which I learnt the sardine-sultana combination. It’s basically salt and oil masquerading as a fairly nutritious meal, and barely involves anything that could be mistaken for cooking.

1. one tin of salted sardine (or anchovy) fillets in olive oil (I used boneless and skinless this time, but it might be even better with the bones in);
2. a sprinkle of pine nuts or slivered almonds;
3. garlic;
4. golden raisins;
5. pasta (long noodly type better).

First, cook the pasta (in a pan, to minimise cleanup). Meanwhile, coarsely mince (is that a thing?) a nice big quantity of garlic.
When pasta is done, drain and set aside in serving bowl. Dry the pan and put back on medium-high heat.
Drain all the oil from the sardines directly into the pan. When heated, fry the garlic until beginning to brown.
Then toss in a generous handful of the sultanas, some nuts, and then the fish, which you flake into tiny pieces using a fork/spatula/etc. (The fish goes in last so it doesn’t get too dry.) Finally, put the noodles back in, stir, and serve when warmed through.

Verdict: This is fairly expensive for a dish without fresh ingredients. My sardines were about $3.30 a tin, and the pine nuts I used probably $0.70’s worth. Still cheaper and easier than salmon, though, and better than bacon-y pastas.


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