Pasta fredda con le sarde

Pasta salad with sardines   Our original home cooking

This pasta salad is a fantastic cold dish, ideal for your summer one-plate meal if you like fish recipes.
I created it with very simple ingredients after several attempts: sardines, good-quality short pasta, lemon, orange, aromatic herbs and olive oil. It's a recipe my husband and I make very often in summer. Pair a white wine as recommended below.

Pasta salad with sardines, the photo shows a detail of this dish with emmer penne and sardine fillets
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Pasta salad with sardines

Ingredients / Serves 3

  • 500g (1.1 pound) very fresh sardines
  • 200g (7 ounces) short pasta (penne, rotini, macaroni ...)
  • 3 tablespoons dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 orange juice
  • Half a lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Time:
    preparation: 30 minutes
    plus marinating time
    cooking: 20 minutes
    total: 50 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    medium difficulty
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 486 (kcal) 25 % GDA (*)- 2032 (kJ)
    Protein: 31.7 (g) 64 % GDA
    Total fat: 16.2 (g) 24 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 56.9 (g) 22 % GDA
    Sugars: 7.0 (g) 8 % GDA

Look at infographic of nutrition facts

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Recipe for pasta salad with sardines

Preparation and cooking

  • - Clean sardines.
    Remove their scales and innards and then fillet them.
    Wash them under cold running water.
  • - Marinate sardines.
    Mix orange and lemon juice together.
    Grease the bottom of a large stainless steel pan with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
    Put some sardines in the pan, well detached and on their back.
    Sprinkle your sardines with your orange-and-lemon mixture, a bit of chives and parsley. Season to taste with salt.
    Continue until all your ingredients are used up (but put apart some chives).
    Cover the pan.
    Let sardines marinate, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • - Cook the pasta you've chosen and sardines.
    At this point cook your pasta al dente stage.
    Meanwhile remove the cover and cook your sardines with all their marinating juice and aromatic herbs in their pan over high heat.
    You need few time up to 10 minutes.
    Don't stir to keep sardine fillets whole.
    Move only a bit with a wooden spoon with delicacy.
  • - The last step.
    Drain your pasta and run under cold water in order to stop cooking, drain again.
    Transfer your pasta into a bowl, add the remaining olive oil and chives and stir accurately.
    At this point spoon some tablespoons of pasta into another bowl, transfer some sardine fillets on the pasta with a skimming ladle.
    Continue until all ingredients are used up.
    Look at the photo for more details.

Just before serving

  • - Let all ingredients flavor at room temperature for an hour before serving.
    Stir at the last minute.
  • - Your dish is ready!



  • - In the south of Italy people are used to flavor fish with orange and/or lemon juice. So fish is tastier ;)
  • - You can also serve this pasta warm.
  • - Don't make this pasta salad the day before. It can be not too digestible.
  • - Use fresh chives for the best result.
  • - Generally my husband and I use emmer pasta as you can see in the photo but you can use the pasta you prefer. The most important thing is you choose good-quality pasta.

Menu planning

  • - It's a perfect one-plate meal, ideal for summer.
    Prepare it for your family menu.

Healthy eating

  • - Pasta salad is a dish rich in ingredients and so it is necessary to calculate the right amount of everything we use not to exceed calories, fat and sugars. Imagine if you make every day a rich dish with all you love: cheese, salami, vegetables in oil ... once in a while our body can metabolize the calories in excess, on the contrary you are destined to gain weight ... inexorably. But the solution is here! Choose few ingredients with their right doses and eat your pasta salad every time you want.
  • - Let me tell something about this cold dish. Note the amount of calories and protein and the combination of its ingredients. It can be only one-plate meal. Complete your meal with fresh seasonal vegetable, if you are still hungry, and fruit.
  • - Here are the doses per head: 70g (2 1/2 ounces) pasta, 150g (5 1/3 ounces) sardines, half a little orange, some drops of lemon juice, aromatic herbs and 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  • - Choose vegetarian dishes for your dinner to control the daily amount of protein.
  • - As you can see it's a tomato-free recipe, ideal for people intolerant or alergic to tomatoes.
  • - If you want to drink a glass of wine remember you have to add 80-85 kcal per 100 ml.
  • - I remember you my original home recipes can be made without salt; there is a combination of flavors that substitutes salt.


What's the right wine for " Pasta salad with sardines "?

My husband and I are used to pair a white wine of Sicily to this summer fish dish. Do you know Alcamo bianco or Contessa Entellina bianco?