Don’t you just hate an empty fridge?
Since we had company all weekend, we didn’t get a chance to make our usual grocery trip last Sunday. That meant by the time Wednesday rolled around, the cupboards were looking pretty bare. Out to dinner we went. Then Thursday rolled around. Different night, same problem. I didn’t really feel like going out again since I knew we’d probably go out a couple times over the weekend too. But I also knew I couldn’t cook at home because Nick would not accept a dinner without meat in it. Hmm… conundrum.
After thinking about it for a while, I remembered something. A few weeks ago, Nick randomly threw a can of sardines (turned out they were actually herring) into our shopping cart. I didn’t question it (ok, maybe I questioned it a little) because I actually really like sardines. I decided that sardines are meat, and my recipe gears started turning. I thought of a few other star ingredients sitting in my fridges, olives and a chunk of very expensive parmesan cheese.
This is what I came up with.
Sardine and Olive Linguini
(makes 2-3 servings)
- 1/2 lb linguini (half a box)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3.5 oz can sardines or herring (NOT packed in oil)
- 1/3 cup green pimento stuffed olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping)
I started boiling the linguini first. I knew the sauce would come together quickly, and I wanted the linguini to be ready for me. It ended up being just about perfect timing.
In a saute pan, I heated the olive oil over medium low heat. I added the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauted a few minutes until the garlic was golden.
I added the herring, and broke them up in the pan. Sauted another 2 minutes to get all the flavors combined.
Added the green olives. Sauted another minute, just to get the olives warmed through.
Little eyeballs staring at me…
Next, I took 1/4 cup of the pasta water out of the pot and added it to the herring mix. I turned up the heat slightly and mixed to combine everything.
I added the pasted to the sauce and tossed. Then added some cracked black pepper. At this point, the sauce didn’t seem incorporated enough, so I added the butter and cheese, hoping it would pull it all together.
It did! It came out looking beautiful.
I plated it up with a little extra parm on top.
I LOOOOOVED this dish. For those of you who know my taste, this is definitely a “Jess dish.” The red pepper flakes were key, and gave the pasta such great spice. I wasn’t sure how Nick would feel about the pasta. A lot of people think sardines are gross, but then again, he’s the one who bought them.
After a few bites, he said it was really good. But I couldn’t tell if he was just being nice. I mean, it wasn’t chili. When he polished off his first (large) bowl and asked for seconds, I knew it truly was a success. Proof once again, that something awesome can be made out of “nothing.”
Crisco Olive Oil is having a Mediterranean inspired recipe contest, so I think I’m going to enter this one. Wish me luck!