I don't eat fish anymore, but I still get cravings for salty maritime pasta every now and then.
Regular followers will know that a tablespoon of miso paste adds a wonderful fish-like depth to a puttanesca, replacing the anchovies. After discovering some dried dill in my cupboard I wondered if it was possible to recreate a sicilian sardine pasta, with all the strong flavours of the mediterranean, without any harm to the life that lives there.
The answer is yes! I was surprised at how quickly this resourceful pasta came together with ingredients I already had in my cupboard.
A word of warning, I made this pasta while in the throes of inspiration, so I didn't stop to measure what I was using, so I have added an estimate of how much I used. This should work well with any long pasta shape, I used Spaghetti alla Chittara which add a wonderful robust texture.
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Tsp Miso Paste
50g Stale Bread
1 TBS Capers
½ TBS Dried Dill (more to taste), if you can find fresh dill go for it!
Chilli Flakes (Optional)
Toast the bread and walnuts until lightly browned and then break down into coarse breadcrumbs with a food processor.
Heat a saucepan and add the olive oil, then breakdown the miso paste and mix it into the olive oil. If you want to use chilli flakes add them in at this stage.
Mix in the breadcrumbs and walnut mix and fry on a light head, making sure the olive oil is soaked up. You want the mixture to remain moist while toasting.
Roughly chop the capers and add to the mix. Cook until the breadcrumbs have soaked up the oil and softened (5-10 minutes).
Add the dill and the juice of half a lemon, mix everything vigorously and taste. If it needs more salt, add more capers. If the lemon and dill aren't balanced with the rest of the flavours add more!
Retain some of the cooking water when you drain your pasta and add it to the mix. Stir in your pasta and make sure it is well coated.