October 5, 2022

Spaghetti with Sardines, Lemon and Arugula

Recipe: Mina Stone

“Sometimes we create our best meals out of necessity. I had come home, exhausted, opened up the cupboards, and found the ingredients that made up this pasta dish sitting happily in my cupboard and refrigerator. Now I shop for the ingredients with purpose because this pasta is a fresh delight that’s even good cold, eaten straight out of the refrigerator.” – Mina Stone


  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (3.75-ounce/106-g) can sardines in olive oil, bones and any scales removed
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 pound (500 g) spaghetti
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Red chile flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 3 cups (60 g) loosely packed arugula


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to incorporate. Crumble the sardines and add to the onion mixture. Turn the heat up and cook until there’s some golden color on the fish. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine. Turn the heat off and set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain and add directly to the sardine mixture. Add the lemon juice, another generous drizzle of olive oil, and the parsley. Toss to combine, then add a sprinkle of red chile flakes and toss again. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top the pasta with the arugula, drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve.


Cassandra Macleod


From the book LEMON, LOVE AND OLIVE OIL by Mina Stone. Copyright © 2021 by Asimina Stone. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.