Venetian cuisine is known for its use of spices and dried fruit. This dish of sardines in sweet and sour sauce speaks of the influences of trade with the East.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (58 votes)


  • 12 fresh sardines, cleaned
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
  • 125 ml (½ cup) white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 50 g (⅓ cup) raisins
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • toasted pine nuts and lemon wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 20 minutes
Drink match 2013 Kangarilla Road Duetto, McLaren Vale, SA ($30)

Brush sardines with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large chargrill pan or frying pan over medium heat and cook sardines, turning once, for 8 minutes or until just cooked. Set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a clean frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until softened. Add wine and vinegar, and simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly reduced, then add cinnamon, raisins and thyme. Season. Simmer for a further 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Pour onion over sardines, then cool completely. Scatter with pine nuts and serve with lemon.



Photography Chris Chen. Food preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Berni Smithies. Drinks suggestion Dan Coward.


As seen in Feast magazine, Apr 2014, Issue 30.