Sarde a Beccafico

Sarde a Beccafico is a dish with fresh sardines as the main ingredient. The dish is named “beccafico” after the Italian word for “thrush,” as the stuffed sardines resemble the bird’s shape. The sardines are typically cleaned, deboned, and stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, and parsley, then rolled and fried. The dish is often served as an appetizer or a second course, and it is a popular dish in Sicilian cuisine. This dish’s combination of flavors and textures is delicious and a great way to enjoy sardines.


  • 8 fresh sardines, cleaned and deboned
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Flour for dusting
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Olive oil for frying


  1. Mix the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  2. Lay each sardine flat on a cutting board and spread about 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumb mixture on top. Roll up the sardine, tucking in the sides to enclose the filling.
  3. Dust the sardine rolls with flour, then dip them into the beaten eggs.
  4. Heat enough olive oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sardine rolls and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  5. Remove the sardines from the pan and drain them on paper towels.
  6. Serve the sardine rolls hot, garnished with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

Note: you can use anchovies instead of sardines if you prefer. You can add chopped capers or olives to the filling for more flavor.


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