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Sardine & fennel bucatini

Sardine & fennel bucatini

Elly Curshen's recipe for leftover fennel is a store-cupboard job for everything apart from the fennel – perfect for any time you have half a bulb left over.

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  • Serves2
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare5 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time25 mins

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 2 tbsp Essential Olive Oil
  • ½ fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced, fronds reserved
  • 200g Waitrose & Partners No.1 Bucatini
  • ½ echalion shallot or ½ small onion, finely diced
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes, to taste
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 anchovies in olive oil, drained, to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 120g Sardine al limone
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the fennel and a pinch of sea salt flakes and fry, stirring often, until the fennel is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add a generous amount of salt and the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.

  3. While the pasta cooks, add the shallot or onion, chilli flakes, pine nuts and fennel seeds to the frying pan with the remaining oil and fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the shallot or onion is softened.

  4. Add the fennel back to the pan with the anchovies (if using), then break them up with a spoon. Add the vinegar and raisins and about 75ml pasta cooking water. Increase the heat and stir until the water evaporates.

  5. Add the contents of the sardine can (including the lemon slices and oil). Stir everything together well and break up the sardines and lemon. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil, then toss thoroughly to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide between 2 plates or bowls. Finely chop any reserved fennel fronds to garnish.

Cook’s tip

A crunchy slaw
Mix equal quantities of yogurt, mayonnaise and finely chopped dill to make a dressing. Season and mix well, then add sliced apple and equal amounts of finely sliced shallot, fennel and white cabbage. Toss well.

Fennel & red chicory salad
Combine thinly sliced fennel and red chicory in a bowl. Add some cooked lentils, then dress with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season, toss and serve topped with small spoonfuls of ricotta and chopped toasted walnuts.

Summer veg bruschetta
Toss finely sliced fennel and courgette with olive oil. Season, spread on a baking tray and roast at 200ºC, gas mark 6, for 20 minutes, until tender and slightly caramelised. Rub a garlic clove over sourdough toast, top with the vegetables, then tear burrata or mozzarella over the top. Drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,546kJ/ 847kcals



Saturated Fat












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5 out of 5 stars1 rating