This main dish pasta for the Solemnity of the Annunciation is chock full of symbolism—and it’s perfect for even the strictest Lenten fast!
Fish (sardines) = Christ
Pinenuts = Fertility
Fennel = “Worthy of Praise”
Sultanas (grapes) = Sacrifice
It’s a very quick and simple dish to throw together. My children loved tossing in the pinenuts and raisins last year, and it gave me the opportunity to explain to them all about this wonderful feast day. I know that the combination of flavors may seem a bit strange (in Italy, they are actually quite common together), but trust me, the end result is delicious!
Makes 4 servings
1 lb. linguine
2 T olive oil
1/4 c. pinenuts
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 (3.75 oz) cans sardines packed in oil
1 t. lemon juice
1/3 c. sultanas (golden raisins)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the pinenuts until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, fennel, and garlic, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 9 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sardines, lemon juice, and sultanas and stir to combine. Add al dente, drained pasta to the saute pan and toss to coat.
Serve with homemade bread and a salad for a delicious and festive fast-friendly meal.