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I think I must have been hungry one day while trolling my Google reader. It had to be the hunger that possessed me to bookmark a recipe I saw on Serious Eats for Venetian Spaghetti, which is essentially pasta with a sardine cream sauce. I had never eaten sardines before, but I do love myself some pasta. The picture looked great and the SE writer said that it tasted a lot like clam chowder, which I also love.
So I figured I would give this one a try, with our pizza rule in mind. The original recipe can be found at Food & Wine.
I wish the picture that we took was better, but we were foiled by a unnoticed smudge on the camera lense. The picture does not do this dish justice because the pasta was beautifully simple and tasty. I think the photo on Serious Eats really illustrates that. Go look at it, and then come back. I’ll wait for you.
This was my first time ever using sardines. I bought a tin of boneless skinless sardines packed in olive oil, and for some reason I assumed that they would be similar to anchovies. I am not sure why I thought this, probably because the packaging is so similar. However, I was surprised when I opened the tin to see that the aroma and texture of the sardine meat was more like tuna fish, but softer. My first thought was that I do not really enjoy tuna fish when it is warmed, like in a tuna casserole. So I was not sure how this would turn out.
I followed the recipe fairly closely, except that I doubled the onions and I added 8 oz of sliced mushrooms to add some bulk to the pasta. I did use whole milk for the sauce. I was worried that since the milk pretty much was the whole sauce, if I subbed it out for skim milk it would be too thin and not good. I also used orecchiette instead of spaghetti because I had a half a box left that I wanted to use up. This got a good dose of parmigianno cheese and Nick also added some crushed red peppers to his.
This pasta was really good, surprisingly good in fact. Though it is definitely for fish lovers. If you dislike a dose of briny fishiness, then you would probably not like this. I agree with the SE writer that it does taste similar to clam chowder, but it was not quite the same.
This is not something that I would want to eat once a week, but this will certainly make a dinner rotation appearance every now and then.
This recipe will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, which I will be hosting. Check out the PPN roundup on Friday right here at imafoodblog.com. Presto Pasta Nights is a weekly roundup of deliciously creative pasta dishes from bloggers all over the world and was created by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. All you have to do is post about pasta, and then email me (or the host for that week) a link to your post.
Totally unrelated to everything else in this post: Happy Memorial Day!