Caputo’s Pasta Con Sarde

3 T sultanas, soak in warm water 15 minutes, then pat dry
1 sm. fennel bulb
1/4 cup olive oil
1 med. onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/2 t fennel seeds
2 cans sardines in oil, 4 1/2 oz, drained
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb. perciatelli or bucatini pasta
heat large pot of water for cooking pasta
Pecorino cheese

Prepare the fennel by removing some of the top fronds and chopping. Peel some of the outside leaves and put in water for cooking pasta, cook pasta.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in skillet. Thinly slice the remaining interior fennel leaves and place in skillet along with onions, sauté for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Add sultanas, pinenuts and fennel seeds, season with salt and pepper, sauté for an additional 5 minutes, remove and set aside.

Dip sardines in bread crumbs and place in skillet, browning on both sides, remove and reserve. Add all previous ingredients back to skillet along with about 4 tablespoons of the boiling pasta water, keep warm.

Drain pasta, toss well with sauce and turn into a serving platter, top with sardines, chopped fennel fronds and sprinkle of Pecorino cheese.

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