The Little Girl saw me reading the July 2011 issue of Yummy Magazine, when I got to this page she said it looks delicious and requested that I make it. I am not much of a fish eater because I am afraid "na matinik" ako. I guess this fear is from my childhood, whenever Lola would serve me fish I would also get a fishbone stuck in my throat. It was a very painful experience thus I avoid fish except for canned tuna and bottled bangus.
But the Little Ones love to eat fish, so I gave in to the Little Girl's request and made this dish today. This is a real simple dish, it took me less than 30 minutes to make. I had to tweak it a little because apart from myself the rest of the family are not basil fans. In my opinion you really need the sweetness of the basil to balance the whole dish, so in my plate I sprinkled some dried basil on my pasta. I was hesitant to take the first bite, because I am afraid that another fishbone would get stuck, thankfully no bones whatsoever. I was pleasantly surprised on how tasty the dish was, and the breadcrumbs add a very nice texture to the dish. The Little Girl loved it, she had two huge servings. I told her this is a fish dish that I would gladly make again for her and me to share.
Here is the recipe:
1 (5.5 ounce) bottle Spanish Sardines in oil, oil reserved
1/4 cup Japanese breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup water
250 grams penne or pasta of choice, cooked according to package directions
salt and pepper to taste
chili flakes, to serve (optional)
1. In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of sardine oil with Japanese breadcrumbs. Pour the rest of the oil into a saute pan and heat over medium heat. Gently coat the sardines in breadcrumbs then fry lightly, just until breadcrumbs are crisp; set aside.
2. In the same pan, saute garlic until lightly browned. Add 4 chopped basil leaves then add water. Toss in noodles and mix until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining fresh basil; toss to combine.
3. To serve, transfer to a serving plate. Top with fried sardines and sprinkle with chili flakes, if desired.