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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.70 / 5 (20 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
25 min

Theo Randall prepares a rustic Italian dish of Sardino al Forno with fennel seeds, parsley, pine nuts, chilli and breadcrumbs


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Scale the sardines and remove the gills and insides. Wash thoroughly under the cold tap water and pat dry with kitchen paper

3. Starting at the tail end, insert a sharp filleting knife on either side of the tail to lift up the fillet.

4. When you have lifted a good centimetre wide, using your knife, cut along the back bone to the head, pull the fillet towards the head and this should lift off the fillet without any of the tiny bones.

5. When you have all 24 fillets, lay half of them in a roasting tin, skin-side down. Season with salt and pepper, and half of the fennel seeds, grated lemon zest, parsley, pine nuts, chilli and breadcrumbs.

6. Repeat this so you form another layer, squeeze over the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

7. Serve the sardines with a tomato and basil salad, and a drizzle of olive oil.


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Latest Comment


The fennel seeds add the magical twist to this humble dish and it just divine!!!! This dish is super healthy, cheap, easy to make and most of all super tasty.

LihC23268 LihC23268  Posted 11 Sep 2012 8:16 PM

Okay, so I only made half the quantity, and maybe I substituted the fennel with fresh Dill, still, according the fish-eating half of the relationship: "You can make this recipe anytime, I love it!". No better praise can cross my ears. Well done Chef Randall, you have scored a winner.

SaamiP58522 SaamiP58522  Posted 19 Oct 2011 8:57 AM