Simple sardine, garlic & lemon spaghetti

August 4, 2016

Sardine, lemon and garlic spaghetti recipe

Sardine, lemon and garlic spaghetti

Having a well-stocked store cupboard and freezer is probably one of the most valuable tips we can offer in terms of making cooking, and eating wisely, a whole lot easier.

This sardine spaghetti dish is a meal we turn to when fresh ingredients are in short supply. It’s also super quick and cheap. A great little meal.

We find that keeping our kitchen cupboard full with things like tins of oily fish, tomatoes, coconut milk, beans, pastas and frozen veg, makes it easy to throw together a meal when we haven’t had time to shop and prevents cases of emergency takeaway dialling. These staples also act as building blocks for any fridge leftovers.

Having basic fresh ingredients with a decent shelf life helps too – we’re never without onions, garlic, lemons, chillies, carrots, celery, for example.

Makes 2 portions

You will need:

  • 100g quality spelt or wholewheat spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tin sardines in olive oil, drained
  • 1 courgette, grated*
  • Zest of 1 lemon (save a squeeze of the juice for the end)
  • 2 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Black pepper to season
  • Red chilli flakes (optional)


  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat and fry the garlic, stirring for 20 seconds. Then add the sardines, courgette, lemon zest, and herbs, and fry for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Add the tomatoes and heat for about 5 minutes until they have reduced a little and the mixture is bubbling away.
  4. Season the sauce with black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and chilli (if using), then drain the pasta, add it to the sauce, and mix well.

*You could also used grated carrot, broccoli, or spinach leaves.

If the tomato sauce thickens too much, loosen it with a little of the pasta water.

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