Sardine Spaghetti with Lemon and Black Pepper Crumb


A salty, zesty spaghetti recipe with crunch from a lemon and black pepper crumb

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  • Serves 4

  • Prep time 15 mins

  • Cooking time 20 mins

  • Total time 35 mins

  • Calories 800 per serving


For the breadcrumbs
  • 75g (3oz) day old ciabatta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 1 heaped teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tbsp flat leaved parsley, chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
For the pasta
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) spaghetti
  • 2 x 210g tins skinless, boneless sardines, drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Whizz the ciabatta in a food processer until you have coarse breadcrumbs.

  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan and when the butter is foaming, tip in the breadcrumbs, fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat, add the peppercorns, lemon, parsley and rosemary and a good pinch of salt and stir well. Remove to a plate whilst you cook the pasta.

  3. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.

  4. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the garlic gently for a minute. Add the sardines and break up lightly with a fork. Add the capers and lemon juice and warm through. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and add the sardine mixture.  Mix well and then divide between 4 warmed plates and scatter the breadcrumbs over the top.