The goal here is to, yes, teach you how to make the most popular Sicilian pasta con le sarde dish, but also to introduce you to sardines. Sardines are very overlooked because people have no idea what they are and assume they’re going to be fishy and gross. Or people confuse them with anchovies which are VERY different. Like anything, there are options when it comes to sardines – fresh from the fish market or cooked and packed in water or olive oil, with skin or skinless, with bones or boneless, plain or smoked. They do not contain mercury, are loaded with anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats and they are very inexpensive. I prefer the boneless, skinless ones packed in oil. If you prefer, you can swap in jarred tuna or canned salmon for the sardines in this recipe. Or vice versa – swap sardines in for canned tuna!
This is NOT a pasta dish that is typically served with cheese. But I’m not in charge of what you eat, so you do you. If you want to cut the quantity of pasta in half and swap in zucchini noodles, I approve!
A couple of years ago, delicata squash were nowhere to be found. Where did they come from and how did I exist on Thanksgivings past without them? They are now my favorite winter squash. Delicata squashes seem fancy, but they’re a Thanksgiving cook’s dream come true: seasonal, delicious, versatile and NO PEELING! And you can eat the skin! My favorite fall salad in the last decade is this Roasted Delicata Squash and Apple Salad. It’s on my menu again this year and I personally fill up most of my dinner plate with it, I love it that much.
But last year, I taught this delicata squash side dish in my Thanksgiving classes and I had a new crush. Sweet and tender squash rounds, as pretty as can be, with a sweet-tart-crunchy-juicy relish are the perfect side next to roasted turkey. And it’s such a beautiful presentation. I could even do without cranberry sauce and just eat this relish. I don’t normally mention nutrition too much when discussing Thanksgiving because it’s the one day I let that go. But this dish is definitely lighter fare and tops in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.
And it makes the best leftovers! The next day I chop up the squash and toss it with the relish and either put it on top of greens or quinoa. A little feta is nice, too. Whereas some Thanksgiving recipes are one-hit wonders, this one I can make all fall for weeknight dinners or dinner parties.
Here’s your game plan:
Seed pomegranate 2 days before and refrigerate.
Wash, dry and cut squash the day before and refrigerate.
Make relish day the day before and refrigerate.
Roast squash before the turkey goes in the oven and allow to sit at room temperature until serving. Then you’re just assembling right before dinner.
Tune in on Thursday for another planning post — 2 weeks and counting!