venetian sardines

This recipe was discovered by two pescatarian friends of mine on visits to Venice, and they have cooked it ever since. It’s really delicious despite the ingredients being an unlikely combo of sweet and sour. It’s real name is Sarde in Saor and it is served in most eateries in Venice. Try it for yourself and you will be pleasantly surprised. It also works well with mackerel too.

Serves 4.

1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup raisins
800g of sardine fillets, also works well with mackerel too
3/4 cup olive oil
3 shallots very finely sliced (I use a mandolin)
1/3 cup of white wine vinegar
1/4 cup of pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped parsley


Put the raisins in the wine and leave for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the sardine fillets on an oiled baking sheet and bake for about 4 minutes, till cooked through. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and add the shallots and gently fry till they are starting to brown.
Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to low and cook for another 6-8 minutes.
Stir in the nuts, raisins, salt and pepper and leave to cool.
Put half the sardines in a deep dish and cover with half of the shallot mixture, then place the remaining sardines on top and cover with the rest of the shallot mixture.
Marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

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