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A Great Sardine Recipe from Venice

Sarde in Saor

Need a recipe for sardines? Want the BEST? These are to die for. The best recipe for sardines you'll ever eat.

If you don't believe me, I dare you to try the recipe.

Across countless generations of our family, from my mamma to her mamma, and beyond, our cherished sardine recipe has remained a treasured tradition. To us, it is more than just a dish; it is a symbol of our heritage and the love we have shared through the ages. We take great pride in preserving its authentic flavors, ensuring that its legacy lives on for generations to come.


The Recipe

Sarde in Saor is a traditional Venetian sardine recipe that combines the flavors of sweet and sour in a delightful way. It is a popular appetizer, showcasing the culinary heritage of Venice, Italy. The dish features sardines, which are marinated with onions, vinegar, raisins, and pine nuts,

Serves 4

List of Ingredients

  • 1 cup of flour.
  • 60 gram of sultanas.
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Teaspoon of coriander seeds.
  • A glass of white wine – I always use Pinot Grigio.
  • 4 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Salt to taste although add very little as the sardines are naturally salty – I just add a pinch
  • 600 grams of sardines
  • 50 grams of pine nuts
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 cloves
  • A little salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

  • Rinse the sardines thoroughly under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Dust the sardines lightly with flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Open the wine and have a glass to prepare you for the work ahead.
  • Soak the sultanas in the white wine.
  • Put enough oil in the frying pan to cover the sardines and heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  • Add the sardines, fry quickly turning once a cook until golden brown and then remove draining the excess oil and adding a touch of salt.
  • Cut the onion up into very fine pieces and add to the olive oil until they begin to absorb the color of the oil then add vinegar, pepper, coriander and cloves.
  • In a separate pot (not the one you cooked the sardines in) cook the vinegar/olive oil/onion marinade on boiling for two or three minutes.
  • Place a layer of sardines on a dish add a little of the onions from the marinade and then a few sultanas and pine nuts. Keep adding layers until the ingredients are finished. The last layer must be onions and pour any remaining marinade over this.
  • Cover and place in the warmest part of the refrigerator overnight to allow the marinade to be absorbed.

Before serving, allow the Sarde in Saor to warm to room temperature. The dish is traditionally enjoyed as an appetizer with some crusty bread, and it pairs wonderfully with a glass of chilled white wine.

Enjoy this classic dish that captures the essence of Venice on your plate. I am sure you will agree that this is the best recipe for sardines you've ever eaten. 

Buon appetito!


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