Sarde a Beccafico

Sicilian stuffed sardines

Preparation info
  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in
The Cooking of the Mediterranean

By Jane Grigson

Published 1991

  • About

The sweetness of fish is well set off by a sweet-sour stuffing. If you cannot find sardines (or pilchards, if you live in the West of England) try herring. With these larger fish the point of the name is lost – beccafico being the Italian for ‘warbler’ – but the flavour is still good.


  • 18 large sardines or pilchards, or 12 small herring
  • 150 ml (¼


Cut off the fish heads and clean the bodies, rubbing salt inside the cavity to get rid of any blood. Rinse and slit them open to the tail. Turn them over on to a board, split sides out. Press gently along the backbones until you feel them give. Turn the fish over and pick out and discard the bones. Salt lightly.

Preheat the