Neapolitans love fish, which makes sense, given that the Bay of Naples has over the centuries nourished an increasing population dominated by so many foreign influences.
Among these fish, the sardine is a useful fish as it can be used as a starter or a main dish depending on how many sardines you cook.
16 fresh sardines, cleaned & boned
Coarse grained salt One lemon-cut in half, half for the preparation the other half sliced for garnishing
12 sprigs of Italian parsley
1 fresh basil leaf or a teaspoon of dried basil
1 large garlic clove,
1 jar of Fattoria Terranova pitted olives in extra virgin olives
1 tablespoon of capers
2 heaped tablespoons of very fine breadcrumbs-lightly toasted
6 tablespoons of Fattoria Terranova Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Soak the sardines for 15 minutes in a bowl of cold water containing a large pinch of coarse salt & the squeezed lemon half. Drain & rinse the sardines, & pat them dry with paper towels.
Finely chop the parsley, basil, garlic, olives & capers together on a chopping board.
Transfer the ingredients to a bowl, add 1 heaped tablespoon of the bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of oil, & salt & pepper to taste. Mix very well.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 400ºF, 200ºC & lightly oil a glass baking dish.
Place a portion of the stuffing on each sardine, then fold the sardine together as if you are closing a book. Arrange the stuffed sardines in the baking dish, pour the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil over them, & sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sardines are completely cooked & a very light crust has formed on top.
Transfer the sardines to a serving platter & serve with the parsley sprigs & lemon slices
WINE SUGGESTION: Lacryma Christi Bianco, Feudi di San Gregorio
40% Coda di Volpe
Pale straw yellow in colour with golden highlights and ripe aromas of white tropical fruits and citrus. The palate is quite full-bodied and textured, with flavours of fresh peaches, apricots and citrus rind with balancing mineral elements and a dry, crisp, refreshing finish.
Drink by itself or to accompany most Mediterranean influenced dishes, especially those with fish or tomatoes.
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