With fresh sardines and wild fennel, this bucatini recipe has a few less common ingredients (outside of Italy, at least), though the extra search is worth it. Specialty Italian stores may have what you are looking for, or in a pinch, you can make a few substitutions. If you can’t find fresh sardines, high quality canned sardines may be used. Simply drain two or three four-ounce cans and fillet the sardines.
In addition, dill is an acceptable substitute for wild fennel, or finocchio selvatico. Bucatini, the pasta typically used in this recipe, is a thick, hollow spaghetti that pairs well with the texture of the sauce. Bucatini pasta is used for other famous bucatini recipes: bucatini all’Amatriciana, bucatini cacio e pepe, bucatini alla gricia and bucatini alla carbonara.
Bucatini Recipe with Sardines and Wild Fennel
I was recently reminded of a traditional Sicilian recipe called “pasta con le sarde,” which means pasta with sardines. The combination of the fragrant wild fennel, the creaminess of the toasted pine nuts, and the saltiness of the sardines creates flavor that will take you to the Mediterranean Sea. Go to your local Italian specialty store and look for the perfect wine pairing of Corvo Bianco--you’ll be glad you did.