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+ servings
Fettuccine with Roasted Spring Onions and Tinned Sardines
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
A hearty dish for early spring that's at once briny and herbaceous, rich and bracing. Fettuccine noodles are tossed with delicate roasted spring onions, capers, herbs, tinned sardines, and buttery panko for a meal that's deeply satisfying. 

This dish is layered and can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes or the season. Keep a cup of pasta water on hand to bind it all together. To offset all the salty richness, serve alongside a lemony salad of bitter greens.
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roasted spring onions
Makes: 6 servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
  • 1 bunch spring onions, tops trimmed as needed and halved
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus several squeezes of juice, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 1 pound fettuccine noodles
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 4 1/4-ounce can sardines packed in olive oil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Arrange spring onions on a rimmed baking sheet, rounded side down. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Roast until onions are very tender with charred edges, 20 - 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook fettuccini until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain noodles.

  4. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add panko and a pinch of sea salt and toast, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are fragrant and golden, 2 - 4 minutes.

  5. Working quickly, slice onions into long strips and toss with warm fettuccini. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, Parmesan, capers, and parsley (reserve some parsley for plating). Add a splash of pasta cooking water to keep things loose. Fold in the sardines, and add lemon juice, sea salt, and red pepper flakes to taste.

  6. Plate pasta, and top with toasted panko and parsley.
Recipe Notes

Timing plays a big role in making sure the pasta is comes out warm and the ingredients meld, so make sure the pasta is ready just as the other elements are and work quickly to get everything to the table. If you’re up for it, warm plates help too.