Spaghetti with sardines, chilies & olives


It is not yet weekend, but mum’s friends are here lounging and being very much themselves unreservedly rowdy, creating a boisterous atmosphere after overdosing on caffeine, oh well we can still  live a little! There was a sudden eruption of laughter after witnessing a cute little squirrel taking an incredible acrobatic leap from my neighbour’s rooftop and landing gracefully on a tree branch. Guess the guests are here to stay…….


To liven up our guests or to be a good host, I cooked spaghetti with sardines for lunch. Spaghetti with sardines is quintessentially a speedy meal as it is made up of canned sardines, bird’s eye chilies and jarred olives. I first made this dish when I came home tipsy and in a desperate need of carbs from a night out in St Kilda during my student days in Melbourne. Simple ingredients, mostly the bird’s eye chilies from my low budget kitchen, cured me that night. This recipe makes one of a hell snack on top of a toast too!

Level: Easy

Spaghetti (3 – 4 servings)

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium size shallot, minced

Black Kalamata olives, chopped

½ a cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

Basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons of bird eye’s chilies, chopped (1 tablespoon if you want it mild)


Black pepper

1 can of sardines in tomato sauce

Cook the spaghetti following pack instructions. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion for 1 minute. Add in sardines, chilies and garlic, cook for another 3 minutes. Add olives. Add the pasta and basil leaves to the pan, mix well. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of reserved pasta water. Season to taste. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil leaves before serving if desired.