Sardine and Summer Squash Spaghetti with Olive, Tomato and Capers

1 onion, sliced into quarter moons
2 medium yellow squash, cut into bite-sized wedges
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1-pint cherry or other small tomatoes, halved
2 4.4 oz tins sardines in olive oil
2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
1/3 cup (drained) Kalamata olives
1/2 cup (loose) coarsely chopped Italian parsley
red pepper flakes
3/4 lb spaghetti


Saute the onion, squash, and garlic until the onion is translucent. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package instructions.

Add the tomatoes, sardines, capers, and olives to the squash mixture. Use a spoon to break up the sardines. Saute until the squash is fork-tender. Stir in the parsley, red pepper flakes and hot, drained spaghetti. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:

Our trip to Portugal (five years ago, how did that happen?) renewed my interest in preserved fish. We went to two different restaurants there that were devoted to tinned fish. Since then, I’ve tried to incorporate it more into our meals. It’s a great staple to have on hand. This month (whole summer, really) has been a very expensive one for many reasons so I’ve been trying extra hard to try and use up ingredients I already have vs buying new ones just for one dish.

This recipe is basically made up of odds and ends I had in the fridge and cabinet but is a real winner! It’s really amazing what you can make out of basically nothing. It was light and super flavorful. Sardines have a reputation for being “fishy” but they really don’t when prepared this way, they sort of create their own sauce. Tomatoes and squash are at their peak now and add a fresh flavor to the various preserved ingredients. Added bonus: this whole dish takes less time to make than it did for me to prepare the dried pasta.

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