Spaghetti alla notte di san Lorenzo

spaghetti di San Lorenzo

Ok, first of all I have to explain the title here. La notte di san Lorenzo, or saint Lawrence night, is the 10th of August which is when, in theory, you can see shooting stars in the sky. The Italians have dedicated a plate of spaghetti to it, can you believe? (and by the way, sorry if I’m 3 weeks late!) This dish however is not the traditional recipe but it’s my friend Carmelita’s version. She is a siciliana doc and she ensures me that this is what they eat for the notte di san Lorenzo in and around the city where she comes from, which is Catania. One day, a few weeks back, she came round my house and brought a gourmet tin of sardines as a present, complete with detailed instructions on how to make this particular sauce. How could I refuse to try it? The ingredients are very simple: tinned sardines, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and breadcrumbs. But the taste is out of this world. Honest! So this is a really simple, cheap and packed with flavours dish that even one of my University students could manage. You’ll be surprised how good and quick it is….


One tin of sardines

20 cherry tomatoes (approx.)

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

a pinch of dry chilli (optional)

olive oil

70-80 gr. fesh breadcrumbs

200-250 gr. spaghetti


Heat some olive oil in the pan and add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes (don’t let it burn! It’s just to flavour the oil). Add the cherry tomatoes and the chilli flakes (if you wish). When the tomatoes are cooked (soft and slightly brown) add the sardines. Heat through then stir well. You should end up with a creamy kind of sauce. In the meantime in another frying pan gently heat some olive oil then add the breadcrumbs and gently fry them. Keep on stirring. The heat shouldn’t be too high or you’ll burn them! When the breadcrumbs are crunchy and golden turn the heating off. You should toss your cooked spaghetti in the pan where you have cooked the sauce and stir well. Put on a plate and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

Carmelita DO tell me if I have gone wrong somewhere….

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