Linguine With Garlic-Sardine Sauce and Spinach

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 12 mins

My daughter found this in a SHAPE magazine and wanted to try it. I was skeptical because I'm not a sardine fan but was intrigued by a note below the recipe that said "When SHAPE staff taste-tested this recipe, they were told it contained a mystery ingredient. "It's made with some sort of fish, right?" asked one editor. "It's really good." offered another. To which everyone agreed. And so do I. I have since become a sardine fan, if the recipe is a good one. This one is just that and more. The omega-3 fatty acids from sardines are considered heart-healthy.If however, you are still leery of cooked sardines, substitute 1 1/2 cups of medium, raw shrimp instead. So enjoy.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 8 ounces linguine (whole-wheat optional) or 8 ounces spaghetti (whole-wheat optional)
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, lightly toasted (optional)
  • 2 -3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 (4 1/2 ounce) cansboneless skinless sardines in oil, drained or 4 (4 1/2 ounce) cansan equal amount of regular sardines, drained, skins carefully scraped off, flaked for bones or 1 12 cups medium raw shrimp, substituted for sardines
  • 2 cups packed fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Cook pasta, al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, break toast into 2-inch pieces and process in a food processor into coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute.
  4. Add sardines and cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cooked pasta, reserved pasta water and spinach, and toss to combine.
  5. Remove from heat, add parsley and 4 tbs of bread crumbs, and toss to combine.
  6. Transfer mixture to individual plates and top with remaining bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Serve.


Most Helpful

This was very nice, fairly quick & easy to make and my husband liked it. It ended up being a little dry for my taste. I should probably add more like a cup of the pasta water back into it or add a bit of oil to my pasta water. Also, I think I might omit the breadcrumbs next time.

Coraniaid September 25, 2014

Loved this recipe. I made some minor adjustments based on personal taste. Used half the amount of sardines, added a tablespoon of butter with the olive oil and chopped green onion with the parsley. It was so reminded me of a dish I had in a restaurant on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. They used canned Italian tuna packed in olive oil. Next time I make this, I am going to try it with the tuna so my hubby will eat it!

celebration March 29, 2009

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