Sardines are a health food in a can! Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, sardines can improve mood, brain function, circulation and metabolism.
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1/3 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
1 tsp dried thyme, divided
1/8 tsp plus 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
Zest and juice of 1 large navel orange, divided
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or fresh ground black pepper
1 lb rapini, thick stems discarded and leaves chopped
8 oz whole-grain spaghetti
4 4-oz BPA-free cans or pouches sardines in water, drained (TRY: Wild Planet Wild Pacific Sardines in Water)
1/4 cup sliced unsalted almonds, toasted
3 tbsp chopped chives
In a large skillet on medium, heat 1 tsp oil. Add panko, 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/8 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until panko is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add orange zest; stir to combine and set aside.
In same skillet on medium, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium high; add tomatoes, pepper flakes, remaining 1/2 tsp thyme and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in orange juice and remove from heat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high. Reduce heat to medium-high, add rapini, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a wire mesh strainer, slotted spoon or tongs, remove rapini from pot and transfer to a strainer to drain excess water. In same pot of boiling water, raise heat to high and add spaghetti. Cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions.
About 1 minute before spaghetti is done, ladle 1/2 cup cooking water into a heat-proof glass and set aside. Drain spaghetti and return to empty pot. Add drained rapini, tomato mixture, sardines and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water. Place pot on low and stir gently until ingredients are combined and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add additional cooking water to moisten as needed. Divide spaghetti among serving bowls and top with panko mixture, almonds and chives.
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