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Slow Fish - Good, Clean and Fair Fish


Gnocchi con le Sarde
Claudia Vezzoli, Rovigo


1. The Fish

- common name: Sardine
- scientific name: Sardina pilchardus
- characteristics: Sardines are low in the food chain and thus are very low in contaminants, such as mercury, relative to other fish commonly eaten by humans. Sardines are commercially fished for a variety of uses: for bait; for immediate consumption; for drying, salting, or smoking; and for reduction into fish meal or oil. Sardines are canned in many different ways. At the cannery, the fish are washed, their heads are removed, and the fish are cooked, either by deep-frying or by steam-cooking, after which they are dried. They are then packed in olive, sunflower or soybean oil or in a tomato, chili or mustard sauce.

Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. They are also a good source of vitamin D, calcium, B12, and protein.


2. The Recipe


For the gnocchi:

1 kg potatoes, washed

300 g wheat flour

2 eggs

Salt, to taste

1 pinch of nutmeg

For the sauce:

300 g sardines, cleaned and washed

50 g Grana Padano, grated

30 g butter

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste




1. Boil the potatoes in salted water. Peel and mash using a masher.

2. Place the mash on a clean work surface. Now add the eggs, flour, salt and nutmeg.

3. Knead the mixture into a soft dough (add a little flour if it turns too soft). Now roll the dough into long sticks and cut into 2 cm long pieces.

4. Roll the pieces over a fork to create grooves on the gnocchi. This will help soak the sauce well.

5. Finely slice the sardines. Then heat butter and oil in a pan, add the sardines and cook over medium heat. Season with salt as required.

6. Put the gnocchi in lightly salted boiling water, and remove when they rise to the surface.

7. Toss the gnocchi with the sauce of the sardines. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve.



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