Smoked Sardine & Dandelion Greens Spaghetti


4.25 oz tinned smoked sardines in oil
1 onion, sliced into half-moons
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large bunch dandelion greens, chopped (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 pint)
1/4 cup kalamata olives
freshly ground black pepper
12 oz spaghetti


Cook spaghetti according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, add the sardines (with the oil), onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large skillet. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the greens and saute until they are starting to wilt. Add the remaining ingredients and saute around 5 minutes or until the greens are fully wilted and everything is cooked through. Add the drained spaghetti and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:
I really love dandelion greens so I was delighted to get a huge (huge! I couldn’t hold it in one hand!) bundle of them in my local produce delivery. They were starting to get slightly wilted looking and  I have nachos planned for dinner like a mature adult and I know I have other plans for tomorrow’s meals so I thought I might as well make something with them for lunch. Why not whip up a pasta dish at 11 am? 
I bought these smoked sardines back in the before times at Trader Joe’s and I really like them! They have a subtle smoky flavor which really adds a lot of depth to the dish and helps balance out the bitterness and the greens. I will say it smells sort of fishy when you are making it but when you actually eat the pasta, it is just super savory. I don’t know if you’d guess were sardines in there, they really just dissolve. 
I had some tomatoes leftover from out last grocery shop over 2 weeks ago (how??) and I always have olives and spaghetti so it was easy to make this dish on the spur of the moment. It was a great pantry meets fresh ingredients recipe that I really enjoy making even when there isn’t a pandemic. 
If you don’t have dandelion greens, feel free to use any robust green.

I jazzed up the leftovers and talked about it here

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