Sardine Spaghetti with Lemon and Black Pepper Crumb Recipe

(27 ratings)

photo of Sardine Spaghetti
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories800 Kcal40%
Fat28 g40%
Saturated Fat7 g35%

This amazing pasta dish has an incredible texture thanks to the herby, zesty breadcrumbs. It is an easy and simple dish to put together with rich, salty flavours from the capers and sardines with a fresh hit of lemon. The leftovers (if there are any) are best enjoyed straight out of the pan with a fork.


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.