Sicilian stuffed sardines

If you have not had sardines before then these Sicilian style stuffed sardines are the perfect introduction. They are straightforward to make and quick to cook so they can be made for a quick lunch or light dinner. Dishes such as this are usually served at times of feasting such as Easter but they are perfect for spring and summer at any time.

Ingredients- Serves 2-3
500g butterflied sardines with bones removed
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Juice of half a small orange
Handful of raisins
Handful of pinenuts
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Choose an ovenproof ceramic baking dish that it large enough to for the sardines to fit and to be nice and snug once rolled. Start by preparing the breadcrumbs filling. Soak the raisins in warm water for 5 minutes until they have swollen and start to soften, roughly chop and place in a bowl. Toast the breadcrumbs in a small dry pan until golden, remove from the heat and add to the raisins. Add the pine nuts, squeeze of the orange juice and roughly chopped parsley. Season to taste.

2. Take one sardine at a time, fill with a small amount of the stuffing mixture and roll lengthways. Once rolled, place in a lightly oiled baking dish and then repeat until all the sardines have been used. If you have any leftover stuffing once you have rolled all the fish then sprinkle over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden and the fish is cooked through. Serve with a simple salad or bread if you like.

Sicilian stuffed sardines- a taste of the Med even if we are all at home during lockdown!

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