Pasta with Sardines and Lemon
Sardines are one of the ocean’s most sustainable superfoods. Because they tend to fall apart, save half for topping the dish just before serving.
- 2 4-ounce cans smoked whole sardines
- 12 ounces linguine or other dried pasta
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 radishes, trimmed, quartered
- 2 cups baby kale or spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Clean sardines, if needed, by splitting in half lengthwise with a knife and removing backbones; set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add pasta, radishes, kale, half of sardines, and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to pot. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring and adding more pasta cooking liquid by Tablespoonfuls if needed, until sauce coats pasta. Stir in lemon juice and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve topped with lemon zest and remaining sardines.