Sardine and Broccoli Rabe

Philly a project grown out of the Philadelphia tourism group that promotes local eats, recently sent a batch of artisanal goodies. It included stuff like pasta, Jersey grown canned tomatoes, honey, cheese, and salami. We love Philly and they seem to like us and were always down to try something new.

Since we got a bunch of pasta, we decided to make a pasta dish, something different so we went with sardines and bread crumbs. Sardines can seem a bit gross, its like anchovies, it gets a bad rap. But use them properly and they add extra flavor and depth. This dish is light and easy, the bread crumbs add a crunch and texture. Its a perfect meal to make on busy weeknight. Thanks Philly for feeding us!

Pasta with Sardines, Broccoli Rabe, and Bread Crumbs

(adapted from New York Times)

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/2 cup bread crumbs (use up that leftover bread!)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)

2 tblsp garlic, minced

1 tsp grated lemon zest

2 tblsp drained capers

Sardines-4 filets from the can

1 1/2 cup chopped Broccoli Rabe

1/4 cup grated Romano

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salted. Cook pasta til tender and drain but reserve some of the pasta water.

In another pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toast the bread crumbs til golden brown and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the remaining olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon zest, capers, and sardines until blended. Pour this mixture to the pan over medium-low heat, heat til fragrant. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for about 2 minutes, you want it bright green but not brown.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan, toss well to combine. Add most of the bread crumbs and some of the pasta water to moisten. Sprinkle romano cheese, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add remaining bread crumbs for extra crunch and texture.