Sarde a Beccafico

Recipe by Martino Ragusa

The warbler (beccafico) is a small bird with highly prized meat that feeds on figs.
The sardine a beccafico remember these birds at least in appearance, with their shape and the little curly tail soaring.
It is one of the many dishes from the popular Sicilian kitchen born in imitation of aristocratic dishes.sicilia

Ingredients for 4 people

500 g of fresh sardines
20 g of pine nuts
50 g of bread crumbs
30 g grated half mature Sicilian caciocavallo cheese
20 g of raisins
2 oranges untreated
1 tablespoon orange zest untreated cut into thin strips
half a lemon
half a cup of dry white wine
extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
bay leaves


Scale the sardines, cut off the head and left in the queue.sarde-a-beccafico-3-stag-2
Cut all the fins without forgetting the dorsal fin, and then open them like a book and remove the bones gently without breaking them.
Make sure you have removed everything that is not clean pulp then wash them gently and place them to drain lie flat without overlapping.
Put to soak the raisins.
Freshly toasted pine nuts in a pan with a little oil.
Put in a bowl the bread crumbs, parsley, orange zest, the caciocavallo cheese, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of half an orange, salt and pepper.
Mix well.
Grind the toasted pine nuts coarsely in a mortar.
On each Sardinian on the belly side put a bit of stuffing and a bit of some pine nuts and raisins.
Wrap them to form a cylinder, leaving the tail upwards, which imitates a bird.
Place the sardines close to each other in an oiled dish and separating them with half slices of orange (cut into half-moon) with the skin, alternating with bay leaves.
Add salt, drizzle with olive oil and half a glass of wine.Sicilia-2
Put in the oven at 180 degrees and cook for the first seven minutes covered with baking paper or a sheet of aluminum foil.
Then continue to cook for another 7 minutes on uncovered baking pan.
Serve garnished with the same orange slices used in cooking.

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