Stuffed Baked Sardines in Tomatoes and Olive Sauce

Fresh sardines are excellent in summer. This recipe is richly flavoured and served simplify on fresh slices of focaccia and rocket leaves. You can make your own focaccia in no time (see recipe this month) or purchase it or a similar bread from a good delicatessen or supermarket.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sardines

  • 18 sardine fillets, scaled
  • 3 tsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 2 tbsp black olives, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tomato and Olive Sauce:

  • 1 x 400g can of chopped plum tomatoes
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp basil leaves, shredded
  • 3 tbsp black olives, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Cook

  • 4 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 8 slices of focaccia or similar bread
  • 200g rocket leaves
  • 2 tbsp parmesan shavings

Method

  1. Sardines: Mix together the capers, sultanas, olives, garlic, bread crumbs, olive oil and a little salt and pepper until well combined. Stuff the sardines with the mixture. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Sauce: Preheat an oven to 200°C. Mix together all the sauce ingredients and place them it in a oven tin.
  3. To Cook: Place the sardines on the sauce and drizzle over the olive oil and season them with a little salt and pepper. Place the oven tin in the preheated oven and leave them to cook for 20-30 minutes. The sardines are ready when the flesh is opaque. Serve.
  4. To Serve: Place 2 slices of the focaccia on each plate and a handful of the rocket on the bread. Scatter the parmesan shavings over the leaves. With a fish slice or palate knife place 3 sardines on the rocket on each plate. Spoon the sauce over and around the sardines. Sprinkle the pine nuts around each plate. Serve