A quick pasta dish

Yesterday I had a sudden but acute craving for pasta but I also wanted to eat something light so I knew that a creamy sauce was not an option. I also considered a tomato-based sauce but I only had a short time to cook so I scrapped that as well. For breakfast I opened a bottle of Spanish-style sardines and I thought, why not use this? I looked through the refrigerator and I found a tomato, some left-over minced garlic, green olives, and parmesan cheese. I have made pasta dishes in the past using fewer stuff so I thought it could work.

This dish doesn’t really follow a strict recipe; what I’ll share is just what happened yesterday. I mean, this dish doesn’t even have a name but for posterity’s sake, I will call it:

Spanish-style Sardine Spaghetti


  • 250 grams spaghetti
  • 4 pcs Spanish-style sardines, butterflied
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, seeds removed then chopped coarsely
  • 5 pcs green olives (pitted), chopped coarsely
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese (optional)

F4L-20150118 Procedure:

  1. Cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling oiled and salted water.
  2. In the last 5 minutes of cooking the pasta, fry the sardines on a non-stick pan until they are toasted and a bit crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add some olive oil on the same pan. When it is hot, add the tomato. Add salt and stir-fry for about two minutes. Add the garlic, olives, red pepper flakes, and Spanish paprika. Continue stir-frying until fragrant. Add the sardines and mix it well with the vegetables.
  4. Save about 1/2 cup of the boiling liquid before draining the spaghetti. Add the pasta into the pan and mix well. If the pasta becomes dry, add boiling liquid or olive oil one tablespoon at a time. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
  5. Add Parmesan cheese upon serving.


  • I’ve tried making this with spicy bottled tuyo (I just reduced the amount of red pepper flakes), toasted tuna flakes, and even crisped bacon. They all work very well. It’s a very filling snack/ meal. You can even use other types of pasta. I imagine fetuccini and linguine will go well with this sauce.
  • Personally, I don’t like adding cheese to fish and seafood in pasta but my family likes cheese in everything so feel free to use Parmesan cheese on this dish. In fact, I learned from them that grated Queso de Bola is great with this dish.
  • If you’re making this at your home, do let me know how it turns out by leaving comments.

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