Recipe: Francesca Voza’s Baked Sardines

If you’re not in the mood for pasta with your sardines, another great use for these tasty fish is to bake them instead, as we have here. This is our version of a dish we found all over Sicily.

Recipe: Francesca’s Italian Kitchen


¼ cup pine nuts
2 fennel bulbs, diced
2 onions, diced
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 anchovies
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 litre vegetable stock
¼ cup currants
6 sardines, scaled, filleted and pin-boned
¼ cup pangrattato
¼ cup sorrel leaves, to garnish
Serves 6 as a side


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Gently toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over a low heat. Set aside.

In a frying pan over a low heat, sweat the fennel, onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the anchovies and tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute until the anchovies soften. Pour over the stock and reduce for 10 minutes. Add the toasted pine nuts and the currants.  Spoon half of the sauce onto the bottom of a medium-sized  oven-proof dish. Lay the sardine fillets on top and spoon over
the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle over the pangrattato and bake for 6–10 minutes, depending on the size of your sardines. Remove from the oven and scatter over the sorrel leaves. Serve immediately.


Makes 1 Cup


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 cup panko breadcrumbs or any dried breadcrumbs


Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Bruise the garlic clove but keep it in one piece, and add to the oil. Move around in the oil until it starts to colour, then discard. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and toast, stirring constantly, until light golden-brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

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Recipes extracted from  Francesca’s Italian Kitchen cookbook by Francesca Voza, James Stapley, published by Penguin, RRP $50.00.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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