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spaghetti all’ ammiraglio … in the south

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We are still in the South – now in Northern Spain near Barcelona. It’s summer & it’s hot. So all we need for dinner is a pasta dish … Did I ever mention that we are true pasta lovers?

All’ ammiraglio … Let this melt on your tongue!

We are dealing w/ a very simple & very easy spaghetti dish – quick & dirty!

… it looks so innocent! Be careful: it’s really hot & burns like hell inside you, wakes you up, heats you up … & leaves you feeling full & happy w/ the world – even if it’s hot still in the evening!

I found this recipe years ago in one of my oldest cookbooks on Italian pasta dishes. It’s only a small book, no mouth-watering pictures, but lots of straightforward ideas to pimp plain pasta.

You’ve already realized that there are only few ingredients …

… so let’s summarise:

  • spaghetti
  • spring onions
  • fresh garlic
  • dried chili peppers
  • canned sardines.

Start cooking the spaghetti … & in parallel start frying the sauce …

Chop the spring onions, press the garlic & start frying in some olive oil. Add the well mashed sardines: you’ve saved the sardines out of their can together w/ the olive oil – then take a fork & mash them thoroughly.

The spaghetti will continue cooking alongside … Add some hot pasta water to the sardine mess if it seems too dry!

When doing the post for the 1st time I happened to have a can of sardines in my pantry: w/o skin, w/o backbone, but w/ chili peppers in olive oil. So I started frying w/ this chili-ed olive oil (about a tablespoon) & added another tablespoon of olive oil. I also added the chili pepper I found in the can & put another dried chili pepper on top.

Don’t give way to despair: you may also start w/ a can filled w/ sardines in whatever oil. Drain the oil in this case … You need not skin the sardines – the skin is very, very thin. Maybe you should discard the backbone – it’s up to you! In this case maybe you should start w/ more than 2 dried chili peppers because oil & sardines are not filled w/ chili flavours!

Did I change anything when now in the south?
I worked with white onions … and I made sure to buy a can filled w/ sardines in olive oil w/ red chili peppers inside. Instead of pressing the garlic I minced it as finely as possible.

So: the spaghetti are ready – meaning your sauce is also ready.

Just add the sauce to the spaghetti …

… & mix thoroughly!

(Don’t forget to discard the chili peppers!)

If you think it’s too dry you may add some more olive oil: best from the very beginning of frying. Or you may add now some liquid whipping cream!


spaghetti all’ammiraglio … in the south
Prep Time15 minutes
Servings: 2
  • 150 g spaghetti
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1-2 dried chili peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 80 g canned sardines 1 can
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp whipping liquid cream (optional)
how to:
  • Cook the spaghetti according to the recommendation on the package, drain the spaghetti & put them in a large bowl.
  • In the meantime chop the spring onions.
  • Add olive oil to a pan & start frying the spring onions.
  • Press the garlic & add to the spring onions.
  • Add chili peppers.
  • Mash the sardines & add to the rest.
  • If it seems to dry add some hot pasta water.
  • Discard the chili peppers.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Stir in some cream – optional.
  • When the spaghetti are ready the sardine mess is also ready.
  • Mix spaghetti & sardine mess thoroughly.
  • Serve immediately.
Prep Time: Includes cooking the spaghetti as well as frying the sardines – work in parallel.
Spaghetti: You may use up to 200 g spaghetti.
Chili peppers: You may add some more if you like it hotter.
Sardines: You may add some more sardines e. g. if your can of sardines holds more than 80 g.
You may reheat any leftovers in the microwave. Attention: the spaghetti tend to get dry when stored for hours – so add some oil or cream before serving any reheated spaghetti.