Speedy Sardine, Chilli & Lemon Spaghetti Recipe | Abel & Cole

Speedy Sardine, Chilli & Lemon Spaghetti

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Speedy Sardine, Chilli & Lemon Spaghetti

When time is short during a lunch break or after a busy day, this simple seafood spaghetti topped with a crunchy pangrattato is a fantastic fast fix.


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 200g spaghetti
  • A good pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 220g butterflied sardine fillets
  • 2 tbsp capers

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 20 mins

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1. Fill a large pan with water and add a good pinch of salt. Pop the pan on the hob and bring to the boil.
2. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Finely grate the zest off the lemon. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stalks.
3. Pour a little olive oil into a frying pan and warm it over a medium heat. Scatter in the breadcrumbs and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the breadcrumbs for 3-4 mins, tossing frequently, till the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp. Stir the parsley and lemon zest through the breadcrumbs and cook for a further 1 min. Tip the breadcrumbs into a bowl and pop to one side. This is your pangrattato.
4. The water in the pan should be boiling by now. Add the spaghetti to the pan and stir till submerged. Cook the pasta for 7-8 mins, till tender but still with some bite.
5. While the pasta cooks, give the frying pan used to cook the breadcrumbs a wipe and pop it on a medium heat. Pour in 2 tbsp olive oil and slide in the garlic cloves and chilli flakes. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 mins, stirring till slightly golden. Add the sardine fillets to the pan and scatter over the capers. Cook the sardine fillets for 3-4 mins, using a wooden spoon to break up the fillets slightly as they cook.
6. When the pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer it out of the water and into the frying pan. Add 2 tbsp of the pasta cooking water to the pan and swirl the spaghetti with the sardines till evenly distributed. Squeeze in a little lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil or chilli flakes, if needed.
7. Divide the pasta between warm plates. Serve with spoonfuls of the lemon and herb pangrattato on top.
8. What is pangrattato?
Pangrattato means 'grated bread' and, in Italy, it's sometimes known as poor man's parmesan. The crunchy breadcrumbs can add a savoury finish to pasta dishes, and the zing of lemon and parlsy is especially good with seafood pasta.
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