Brian’s Favorite Recipe: Pasta Milanese

For over 20 years we’ve been making meals that bring smiles to faces, nourish our souls, and bring Italy into each of our homes. But Ditalia would be nothing without the family we’ve built in the process. The foundation of this business has been built around amazing people with a spark for life and a taste for inspiring meals!

Meet Brian, Ditalia’s Wholesale Manager. With a diverse background of work experiences (from bicycle shops to drum stores), Brian came into Ditalia with an open mind, an attention to detail, and curiosity about traditional Italian cuisine. Brian is passionate about introducing our foods to restaurants and grocers in the St. Louis area and beyond, as well as experimenting with our huge library of ingredients.

In Pasta Milanese, Sardines never have tasted so good!  I love how simply the Couco Condimento used to make a delicious pasta dish that is surprisingly, not too fishy.

Pasta Milanese is a classic St. Joseph's day dish in Sicilian, the recipe of which varies from region to region and family to family. Even this Di Piazza family recipe has evolved over time but, one thing that’s never changed is the classic St. Joseph Sawdust! 

Recipe Numbers 

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 40 min.

Serves: 6



1923 Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 large white onion, finely diced

Ortiz Sardines in oil (about 8 ounces total, depending on how much you like sardines)

Garlic (1 clove of garlic per person, added to taste) minced

Passata (1 bottle)

2 cans Cuoco Condimento 

1 small fresh baguette/rustic bread loaf

1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced

Bucatini pasta (1 lb)

Pecorino Romano (to taste), grated



Sauté the onions in olive oil until golden. Add about 2-3 ounces of the sardines with garlic until the sardines begin to dissolve. Add 1/2 of the minced garlic (reserve the rest to toast with the breadcrumbs).
As soon as garlic starts to color, add the passata. Bring sauce to a boil, then turn the head down to medium low heat to simmer. Simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. Add the “condimento” and cook for about 20 – 30 minutes. Add any remaining sardines to the sauce.
Shred a fresh baguette to create breadcrumbs. Add the parsley, garlic and grated pecorino romano and the breadcrumbs to a saucepan and toast over medium heat in a pan. Be careful not to burn. Once the sauce is nearing completion, begin the pasta. Boil water, add salt and cook the bucatini until al dente (about 10 minutes). 
Once the pasta is ready, drain and add back into the pot. Add the finished sauce to the pasta one ladleful at a time. Serve hot with a generous handful of the toasted breadcrumb mixture (the St. Joseph’s sawdust) and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil!

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