Pasta ca’ a muddica e i sardi am’mare

PastaCaMuddicaI grew up eating this Sicilian classic. “Muddica” is breadcrumbs toasted in a pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Muddica is also used in Pasta col Tonno (Pasta with Tuna). Pasta ca’ a muddica e i sardi am’mare (p. Pasta cah muh-ddee-cah eh e sah-r-dee am-mar-eh) means literally “Pasta with muddica and sardines – in the sea” as sardines are not in the dish. There are only anchovies! :) What can I say, SICILIAN HUMOR!


Yield: 2 people

  • 5 oz of Penne Rigate
  • 10 tbsp of fine bread crumbs
  • 6 anchovy fillets in salt (or in oil – but salt is better!)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 tbsp of EVOO
  • 4 tbsp of Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped Italian parsley (and some extra leaves for décor)
  • Salt & Pepper

How to Make Pasta with Sardines and Muddica

1) Fill a pot with 2/3 of salted water and bring it to boil.

2) Wash the anchovy fillets thoroughly, dry them with a paper towel tapping them nicely and chop them roughly. Warm two tbsp of EVOO over low-medium heat and add the breadcrumbs, stirring it continuously, to avoid it to burn. When golden, pour 6 tbsp  of “muddica” in a plate, keeping 4 tbsp in a cup that you’ll serve aside.

3) In the same pan, add four tbsp of oil and garlic. When the garlic turns golden, add chopped anchovies and allow them to dissolve. When the anchovies have melted, add tomato sauce and let it thicken.

4) Place spaghetti inside a pot filled up with boiling water and cook till “al dente”.

5) Keep some cooking water aside. Drain pasta and pour it into the sauce and mix well. If needed, add the cooking water to dilute. Add chopped parsley, 6 tbsp of muddica and plate up. Decor with some parsley leaves.

6) Bring to table your finished dishes and the cup of muddica to add if you like!


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