Fried Stuffed Sardines

Fried Stuffed Sardines
Sarde Farcite Ripiene

Serves: 6

1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 3 ounce can oil packed tuna (drained)
½ fennel bulb (white part, cleaned and chopped
¼ cup fennel greens (finely chopped)
¼ cup Italian parsley (freshly chopped)
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
1 ½ cups olive oil (plus a little extra for filling)
18 thoroughly cleaned sardine fillets of 9 sardines
All-purpose flour
¼ cup capers (salt-packed)

For Sauce
½ extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons dry whit wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of parsley

Put breadcrumbs, tuna, fennel, and parsley into a food processor
Season with salt and pepper
Process for 10 seconds
Add little olive oil through the feed tube until you have a thick, creamy mixture
Line up half of the sardine fillets on work surface, skin side down
Spoon equal amounts of filling evenly across each sardine
Cover each with remaining fillets, bone side down
Press each sardine sandwich gently together
Coat the sardines with flour
Heat 3 cups of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan until hot but not smoking
Cook the sardines in batches until golden brown on each side
Carefully turn sardines with tongs or 2 spoons
Drain on paper towels
Make sauce
Heat oil with oregano and wine in a small pan until it just boils
Season with salt and pepper
Serve sardines hot with sauce.