Sicilian Sardine Courgetti with Sultanas & Pine Nuts

Another tinned sardine recipe… 

Courgetti con le Sarde

Courgetti con le Sarde

In last week’s post I showed you a simple, no-cook 5 minute paté recipe made with a humble tin of sardines. Turns out a fair few of you DO enjoy sardines. I’m impressed and delighted and hope that means this second quick tinned sardine recipe will go down a storm. It may take you a total of 10 minutes this time.  Can you find an extra 5 minutes in your day?

I talked a lot about omega 3 (the essential fatty acid found in oily fish) last week, but forgot to mention that tinned sardines are also a fantastic source of calcium.  This is because the sardines have tiny little bones that are full of calcium, which you will be eating (don’t worry they are very soft and almost dissolve into the sauce). Eating bones builds strong bones! Many people worry that when they reduce or omit dairy from their diets they are going to be missing out on a source of calcium. In fact, calcium in dairy isn’t so bio available (this means its hard for us to extract it from the source) so foods such as canned sardines, green veg (especially broccoli) and sesame seeds/tahini, which do have bio available calcium, are greatly beneficial.

My Mise en place

My Mise en place

The inspiration for this dish, which was no doubt taken from a classic Sicilian recipe for ‘pasta con le Sarde’, came from a supermarket recipe card. I’ve tweaked it here and there to suit my nutritional preferences. Pine nuts and sultanas are a delicious combination. You may know them from the Tuscan chestnut cake, Castagnaccio. They work brilliantly in this dish along with heaps of lemon zest, capers, chives and garlic to add taste and brightness to the oily sardines. My staple courgetti  ribbons of pasta made from julienning courgettes (zucchini) replace traditional spaghetti.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Sardine Courgetti with Sultanas & Pine Nuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A deliciously simple tinned sardine recipe. A ten minute Sicilian inspired dish, with sardines, sultanas and pine nuts, but using courgetti in stead of spaghetti.
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1
  • 1 210g tin of sardines, drained, oil reserved
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs sultanas
  • 1 Tbs pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 Tbs capers
  • 1.5 courgettes, julienned
  • ½ Tbs chopped chives
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • black pepper to serve
  1. Tip a little of the oil drained from the sardines into a frying pan and sauté the garlic for a few minutes till softened.
  2. Meanwhile add the julienned courgettes to another pan, and sauté over low heat in a little of the sardine oil till softened, approximately 4 minutes.
  3. Add the sardines to the garlic pan, and break them up with the back of your wooden spoon as you stir them around the pan. Next add the sultanas, pine nuts and capers and stir well. Cook for a few minutes until the sardines are warmed through.
  4. When the courgettes are ready add them to the sauce pan and toss all the ingredients together, distributing the sauce evenly through the courgettes. Scatter in the chives, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add a little extra salt if necessary, but likely not as the capers are salty.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and add liberal amounts of black pepper.


Does anyone have any other favourite tinned sardine recipe ideas to share?  I think I need one more to round off this 3 part series.  Maybe these sardine bites from Free From Fairy – they look delicious!



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