2 ¼ pounds medium sized fresh sardines ¾ cup breadcrumbs 1 ½ ounces salt-packed anchovies (rinsed to remove salt) 1/3 cup raisins ¼ cup pine nuts 1 cup fresh parsley 5½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 10 g sugar bay leaf to taste For Vegetable Tartare ½ cup carrots ½ cup zucchini ½ cup bell or sweet pepper ½ cup extra virgin olive oil For sauce: ½ cup fresh mint 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Clean the sardines, remove head, open and remove bones, ensuring that the two fillets remain attached. Rinse and allow to drain. Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté breadcrumbs until very lightly browned. Meanwhile, plump the raisings by soaking in water until soft, but still intact.
When the breadcrumbs are browned, add the chopped anchovies, pine nuts and raisins.
Add chopped parsley, one or two crumbled bay leaves and season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. The mixture should be evenly mixed and not too moist.
Line four individual ramekins about 2-2 ½ inches in diameter with parchment paper and place on a baking sheet or tin.
Tightly place sardine fillets in each ramekin with no space in between them.
Cover the layer of fillets with the prepared mixture.
Lightly press the mixture onto the sardines to cover them completely. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
Garnish with a drizzle of oil and a few parsley leaves. Serve with a sauce made by blending mint leaves in oil, and a salad of raw diced seasonal vegetables.
Difficult to prepare, with strong flavor and aromas, a slight sensation of bitterness along with a slight sweetness. We pair it with a wine that has a certain amount of lasting flavor and effervescent body, with a citrus fruit and fruity bouquet. Contea di Sclafani Metodo Classico Brut.
The dish can also be served as one-course meal. Indeed, the breadcrumbs contribute to the starches. On its part, sardines (70% edible parts) are rich in water, phosphorus, calcium, iron and Vitamin A; in addition, it only has 1.5 grams of glucose and 4.5 grams of fats for every 100 grams of weight. These characteristics make "beccafico" a rich and well-balanced dish.