Sardine Pasta: A Portuguese Style Sardine Spaghetti Recipe

We are excited to share with you our first food recipe – A Portuguese style sardine pasta! We previously shared a few drink recipes using wine and we had a lot of fun creating and photographing them! And of course, drinking them afterwards! As much as we love to cook and spend time in the kitchen making more refined recipes, we also love simple and delicious dishes using basic ingredients. The foundation of this recipe will be the lovely combination of flour and eggs that we call pasta! That’s Massa in Portuguese or Macarrão in Brazilian Portuguese.

Undoubtedly, the star of this dish is some locally tinned sardines. Along with the red peppers and olives, result in some delicious Mediterranean flavours that you can easily put together using ingredients from your local farmers market and will easily feed two people. Vamos à receita!

Portuguese Style Sardine Spaghetti

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 2


  • 2 tbs Olive Oil
  • ½ red pepper finely sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of Olives, sliced
  • 1 cup (18 small) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • ½ red chilli pepper without excessive seeds, sliced
  • 1 tin of sardines
  • Basil leaves, to taste
  • 200 grams of dried Spaghetti
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon Zest
  • ½ cup of white wine/lemon juice
Sardine Pasta Ingredients


  1. Place a big frying pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and a drizzle of the sardine oil. When hot, add the bell pepper and cook until slightly soft.
  2. Add the red onion and garlic and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the olives and let everything slowly fry until it reaches a softer texture.
  4. Move your ingredients to one side of the frying pan and if necessary add another splash of olive oil and lightly fry your cherry tomatoes and basil leaves.
  5. Once the skin of the tomatoes start wrinkling, combine it with the rest of the pan, and add our chilli pepper and the sardines, breaking it into smaller pieces.
  6. Add zests of one lemon and a splash of white wine or lemon juice to deglaze the pan and bring all those flavours together. Let it sizzle for another couple of minutes.
  7. While you wait, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. The recommended proportion is around 1lt of water per 100 grams of pasta.
  8. Once the pasta water is boiling, begin cooking your spaghetti. Following the recommended instructions. For “al dente” pasta, remove from the water a minute early to taste. There’s nothing worse than overcooked pasta!
  9. Add the tomato paste and half of a cup of the pasta water into your sauce. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes. The starch from the pasta water will help our sauce to bond with the spaghetti. Try the sauce and check if you need to adjust the salt or add another splash of pasta water. As some of the ingredients already contain salt, we didn’t think any extra salt is needed.
  10. Drain the pasta and add it immediately into the saucepan and gently combine everything.
  11. Serve the finished sardine pasta into two pasta bowls and add some freshly grated black pepper and parmesan cheese on top (we know that this goes against the rules but as cheese lovers we think that cheese goes well with everything. Who invented this silly rule anyway?).
Sardine Pasta Sauce

Did you try our Sardine Pasta Recipe? Let us know in the comments how it went!

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