From Mark Bittman, then of The New York Times. Sardines are much more delicious than you might think. A satisfying and comforting dinner for times when you want some pasta and don’t want to fuss.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup bread crumbs, ideally made from stale bread
1 onion, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces long pasta, like perciatelli
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 cans sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil (about 1/2 pound)
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, less than 5 minutes, and then remove to a plate. Add the remaining oil and the onion to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just tender; drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Turn the heat under the onions to medium-high and add the lemon zest, capers and sardines; cook, stirring occasionally, until just heated through, about 2 minutes.
Add the pasta to the sardine mixture and toss well to combine. Add the parsley, most of the bread crumbs and some reserved water, if necessary, to moisten. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnishing with more parsley and bread crumbs.