Good old tinned sardines are fashionable again and are an ideal storecupboard ingredient, great for serving on toast sprinkled with a little balsamic and lots of seasoning. This is also the perfect storecupboard meal for two, made in moments and great for students or anyone on a tight budget. I love the shape of linguine, but any pasta can be used.
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two and The Delia Collection: Fish.
8 oz (225 g) dried linguine
1 x 120 g tin of sardines in olive oil, well drained and the fish flaked into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon sardine oil, reserved from the tin for frying
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and patted dry
1 clove garlic, chopped
7 oz (200 g) tinned Italian chopped tomatoes, well drained, or 4 medium, ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced
a few fresh basil leaves, roughly torn, to garnish
salt and freshly milled black pepper
First of all you need to cook the pasta.
Always use a large cooking pot and make sure you have at least 4 pints (2.25 litres) of water for every 8 oz (225 g) of pasta and 1 level tablespoon of salt.
Bring the water up to a good fierce boil before the pasta goes in and cook it for 8-12 minutes without a lid, until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of sardine oil in a small frying pan, fry the garlic and chilli for about 4 minutes, until softened, then add the tomatoes, sardines and capers and gently heat them through, stirring occasionally.
Taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
When the pasta is ready, drain it into a colander, then quickly return it to the saucepan.
Add the sauce, toss it around thoroughly for 30 seconds or so, then serve in hot pasta bowls with the torn basil sprinkled over.