This is lovely and quite delicate in its simplicity. It will make six filling portions. Use small sardines, up to about
Fillet each sardine by cutting off the head and making a slit along the underside with a small sharp knife. Remove the guts, then remove the central bone by pulling it away by the tail with one hand while holding the sardine with the other. You will be left with two attached fillets.
Remove any tough stalks from the fennel, leaving them in wisps or breaking them up if they are very long.
Crumble the bread into coarse crumbs. Heat
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic, fennel and spring onion and sauté for a few seconds to flavour the oil, then add the sardines. Continue to cook for a few minutes on a high heat, flipping them around in the pan, but taking care not to break them up. Cook for a couple of minutes until the fish are just opaque. Remove from the heat until your pasta is ready.
Drain the pasta but keep a cup or so of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the frying pan if it fits, if not, transfer the pasta and sardines to a large bowl and carefully toss together, adding some of the pasta cooking water if necessary. Serve immediately with a small handful of breadcrumbs and a grinding of black pepper over each bowl.
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