Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives, a quick and tasty dish utilizing a few pantry staples such as canned sardines and dried pasta. Fresh bread crumbs are toasted til golden brown and then tossed with some snipped chives lending a delicate and subtle onion taste which doesn’t overpower but rather enhances this simple pasta dish.

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Pasta con le sardine or rather Pasta with sardines is a classic Sicilian pasta dish. Most notably made with wild fennel, raisins and also anchovies. Sometimes pine nuts are also thrown in the mix.

My version here is a little spin-off from the more traditional one and inspired from Food Bloggers of Canada recipe round up featuring chives.

I put this rather delicate herb to work by snipping off a few strands and tossing it with my homemade toasted breadcrumbs which I then used in my Sardine Spaghetti with Chives recipe. It imparted such freshness and flavor to this simple pasta dish and was devoured in no time at all!

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Being a convenient source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin D are really great reasons to include canned sardines in our diet and also not to mention how fairly inexpensive the canned variety really is and so versatile!

Although they aren’t extremely bony, you may want to remove the fish bones if your squeamish about them. Parting the underside of the sardines to open them up and gently removing the fish bones with a small fork or knife will quickly do the trick.

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Coupled with the fact that they’re so nutritious, canned sardines are readily available year round making mealtime a breeze.

First of all, you’ll want to start with a large stock pot filled with cold water. While the water comes to a roaring boil prep your ingredients both for the bread crumbs and quick sauce with sardines.

With this in mind you should basically have your meal ready in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta.

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Then simply plate and serve with a light drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil, topped with the reserved bread crumbs and garnished with fresh chives.

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives

Sardine Spaghetti with Chives…an exceptionally easy dish with minimum preparation!

If you love this recipe you may also enjoy my Penne Rigate With Tomato Tuna Sauce  featuring canned tuna.

Buon Appetito!


Sardine Spaghetti with Chives
Sardine Spaghetti with Chives, a quick and tasty dish utilizing a few pantry staples such as canned sardines and dried pasta.
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cup bread crumbs
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 454 grams spaghetti
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 generous pinches of red chili flakes
  • 3 cans of sardines packed in oil (120 grams each) I cut the under side to open them and removed the fish bones
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil,
  2. Salt the water and cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the bread crumbs by heating 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat.
  4. Add in the bread crumbs, salt and pepper and toast the crumbs, while stirring often, til they have browned.
  5. Once browned, remove from heat and stir in the chopped fresh chives.
  6. Transfer the toasted bread crumbs to a plate and set aside.
  7. Using the same skillet (wiped clean), heat the ⅓ cup of oil over medium low heat.
  8. Add in the minced garlic with the chili flakes, salt and pepper and heat till fragrant for 1 minute.
  9. Stir in the sardines and sautè for 2 minutes, taking care not to break up the sardines over much.
  10. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  11. Add the cooked pasta to the sardine mixture with a little of the pasta water and toss well.
  12. If pasta seems a little dry, go ahead and add a little more pasta water.
  13. Toss with 1 cup of the toasted bread crumb and chive mixture.
  14. Plate the pasta and garnish with remaining ½ cup of bread crumb and chive mixture.




  1. Your post could not be more timely! My son’s friend regularly brings a can of sardines to school for lunch and my son kept asking me to buy some as well so he can bring it to school as well. They eat it straight out of the can! I’m not crazy about that and kept thinking that it would be nice to have a recipe. This looks like just the thing! Your photos are gorgeous as is your plating!

    • Hi Annika, I think it’s great that he’s developed a taste for sardines at a young age, it makes a healthy school lunch. My son was very much into canned tuna for his lunches. Hope you get to try it, it’s really quite yummy😊💕

  2. I love pasta with sardines and your addition of crunchy breadcrumbs and chives just makes it so much better. 🙂

    • The bread crumbs really do dress up this dish rather nicely and the chives adds a mild onion flavour… so yummy! Thanks Ronit😊

  3. What a delicious simple meal, Marisa!

  4. How beautiful is this?!! I absolutely love your photographs.

  5. I love pasta con le sarde, I also had it last summer while in holiday in Sicily 🙂 I still remember, great.

  6. Marisa, I am in Calabria taking a little break from the wine business with my dear cousins. We were just speaking of this dish last night and plan to prepare it this evening. After much chatter about which sardines and the addition of wild fennel I think we are set. I look forward to sharing your version with my cousins.

    • How wonderful to be in beautiful Calabria Paula!!!! Enjoy every moment, am sure it’s a well deserved break. I’m sure the wild fennel will be a delicious addition and Buon Appetito to you and your family💕

  7. Pasta with sardines! Sounds brilliant, and loved the twisty presentation of the pasta. Nice post Marisa

  8. congratulations for your (and my) Italian Kitchen! You’re very clever….
    I’m glad if you come to visit my blog and if you should leave a reply,
    have a nice day,
    best regards from Italy