1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Olive Caper Sardine Pasta


Olive Caper Sardine Pasta

Olive Caper Sardine Pasta

Photo © Molly Watson

Olive Caper Sardine Pasta is a quick, delicious pasta that you can make from things you may very likely have sitting in the cupboard.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 12 ounces. spaghetti or similar pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small red or green fresh hot chile or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 12 green and/or black pitted olives
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickled green peppercorns (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 can (5 ounces) sardines
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups arugula leaves (optional)


  1. Put on a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the spaghetti until tender to the bite. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain pasta, and set aside.
  2. While the water comes to a boil, mince the garlic, chile if using, olives, capers, and pickled peppercorns if using.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add garlic, chile, olives, capers, and peppercorns. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Add white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  4. While wine reduces, chop parsley.
  5. Add sardines to the sauce and cook, stirring, until sardines are broken up and well combined with the rest of the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta-cooking liquid and the reserved pasta. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Taste. Add the remaining liquid if the pasta seems dry.
  6. Stir in the parsley. Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper to taste and a handful of fresh arugula leaves, if you like.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.