Spaghetti with Sardines-Tomato-Sauce

Quick and easy, but delicious. And has nothing to do with computers.

Canned sardines (in oil)
Tomato puree (if concentrated, dilute with water)
Fresh parsley
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Calories: A lot. If you worry about this, go jogging. A long time. Afterwards, you have the feeling that you really deserve this meal.


Spaghetti take about eight minutes until they are al dente, sauce is quicker. Therefore start with spaghetti: bring enough water (add salt, but no oil) to boiling. Put the spaghetti into the water; now time is running.

Put some olive oil in a frying pan, heat it. Chop onion into half-rings, put these into pan and fry until lightly brown. Add sardines and heat them a little, then add tomato puree, turn down heat. Add a little freshly ground pepper, finely sliced garlic, fresh basil and fresh parsley. Stir and let it simmer for a moment.

Decant spaghetti (first make sure they are al dente by testing one). Put spaghetti into the frying pan with the sauce, mix until all spaghetti are covered with sauce. Put onto a dish, sprinkle parmesan cheese onto it, enjoy.


Snobbish cooks think they need to use fresh tomatoes, peel them by scratching and then putting them into boiling water, and then puree them. This is not worth the effort; in fact, if you don’t have access to high-quality tomatoes, you will get better results by buying ready made tomato puree. Normal tomatoes you can buy in a supermarket are of lower quality than tomatoes used for industrial pureeing. And cooking is about taste, not obeying strange rituals. And of course, any self-respecting sloth wouldn’t want to waste energy on peeling tomatoes.

On the other hand, using fresh herbs like parsley and basil is essential, as dried variants lose their taste. Planting herbs on a balcony or a window sill is not exactly rocket science.

For cooking spaghetti or any other pasta, use the following rule of thumb: 1 litre of water for every 100 g of dry pasta. More water is okay. Add salt, but never add oil: you want the sauce to stick to the pasta.

You could substitute sardines by tuna, but sardines are not so overfished, and do not accumulate as much mercury as tuna (but this doesn’t matter unless you eat huge amounts, or are breastfeeding).

About Daniel Tiggemann

Software-developer living in Cologne, Germany. Was once a physicist, specialized in computer simulations and parallel programming. Now more into JavaScript, web frontend development, and especially mobile computing.
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