Linguine With Garlic-Sardine Sauce and Spinach

"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."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1 1/2 cups per serving


  • 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) cans an equal amount of regular sardines, drained, skins carefully scraped off, flaked for bones or 1 1/2 cups medium raw shrimp, substituted for sardines
  • 2 cups packed fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated


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

Questions & Replies

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  1. Coraniaid
    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.
  2. celebration
    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!



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