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The last green stuff still growing

By Penny Stine

Although we’ve had several hard frosts, my front flower bed is overrun with parsley, and it's putting up a valiant fight to survive.

I knew it was on borrowed time, so I picked it, tried to use it, hung it up to dry and gave it away every chance I got. 


My husband also got the bad news back that his cholesterol was too high, so I’ve been trying to cook more fish, especially the ones that are packed with Omega-3 fatty acid. When I found a pasta recipe that not only combined canned sardines (very high in Omega-3), but also incorporated lots of garlic and parsley, I had to try it. Well, technically, I had to modify it because I can’t seem to follow a recipe, but mine was similar to the original.






The result was delish, but I should preface that by saying that I love all things fishy. My husband is not so fond of sardines, but after he got over the first bite, which was quite a strong-flavored morsel, it grew on him. I will cook it again, but next time I’ll add kalamata olives because I like them and think they’ll help curb the strong sardine flavor.



In the meantime, here’s the recipe: (Keep in mind that I didn’t actually measure anything, so everything’s just a guesstimate)

2 cans sardines (I found some that were packed in tomatoes and basil, which I thought was pretty perfect to go with pasta)
1 pkg whole-wheat pasta
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 to ½ C chopped red onion
3 minced garlic cloves
½ C chopped dried or sundried tomatoes
1/3 – ½ C pine nuts
1 -2 tbsp dried basil
½ C white wine
2 C chopped parsley
1 C chicken broth
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 ½ tsp capers
salt, black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta – this is a quick recipe. While water is heating, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a large sauté pan. When slightly caramelized, add the pine nuts and sardines (you can add them whole – they’ll break up and crumble as the sauce cooks), basil and tomatoes, then wine. Let the liquid reduce by half. Toss in the parsley, add the chicken broth.
Hopefully, your water boiled and you’ve been cooking your pasta because now it’s time to drain the pasta, stir it into the sauce, along with the lemon zest, juice and capers. Several good rounds of fresh ground pepper are necessary, as is a liberal sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

I anticipate that if we do get those single-digit lows, my parsley will die. My husband will breathe a sigh of relief. He won't have to eat this pasta again until March when the parsley starts growing again. 


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