Italian Recipe: Sarde in Saor

December 3, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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A glass of white wine on a food and wine tour with TIKWant to wow your guests with a unique and tasty dish from the Veneto? Serve this characteristic fish appetizer with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio, Tocai, or Prosecco, and give your guests something to really talk about.

Venetian in origin, sarde in soar are popular throughout Italy, including this version which hails from Umbria. If you are lucky enough to be preparing this dish in Umbria, use the small fish from Trasimeno Lake! But for the rest of us, any type of fresh sardines will do. Can’t find fresh sardines? Try using another small, local fish, such as smelt or herring. Most of these smaller fish are rich in nutrients such as Omega-3s and are under-fished, making them a great sustainable ingredient.

Sarde in soarSarde in Saor (Marinated Sardines)

Serves: 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cook method: Sauté


  • 500 gr sardines (fresh, not canned!)
  • flour
  • olive oil (for frying)
  • 3 white onions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • bay leaf
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • cloves
  • raisins
  • pine nuts

Sardines at the Venice Rialto fish market 1. Clean the sardines by removing their heads, cleaning the insides and removing the spine (some small bones will remain, these are fine enough to be eaten).

2. Dredge the sardines in flour, then fry them in extra virgin olive oil. Set them aside to drain and cool.

3. In the meantime, finely slice 3 white onions and sauté them in olive oil. Add the wine, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and then some bay, oregano and marjoram, a pinch of cloves, and raisins (about a handful) and sprinkle with pine nuts. Pour the onion mixture over the sardines and leave to marinate for at least a few hours (or better, overnight). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Buon appetito!

Sicilian pasta with sardines, made on a Sicily cooking vacationTry another great Italian recipe with sardines: Sicilian bucatini pasta con sarde.

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