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Sicilian Gnocchi with Sardines

Posted July 13, 2016 by Stephanie


People are always thinking that Mike and I eat pretty decently. And for the most part, it’s true. But, lots of times our meals (especially dinners) are leftovers hobbled together into some sort of strange smorgasbord that I enjoy immensely, but Mike ends up thinking is questionable. Is there really anything so wrong with eating a meal that consists entirely of side dish trials?! I think not, but then again, my food taste is kind of questionable.


Mike is usually good humored about the whole blogging thing – he patiently waits for me to take photos and we often eat our food on the cold side, or microwaved. Actually, come to think of it, sometimes he’s too good about it. Sometimes he’s the one insisting on taking photos when I just want to shovel food into my mouth as quickly as possible while it’s still hot.


Case in point – we were camping (in an olive grove! I highly recommend it) and I made a quick gnocchi dish that I just wanted to shove into my face. Luckily Mike took some photos otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing this. This actually happens to be one of Mike’s favorite kinds of pastas – a simple sardine and garlic sauce that can be paired with any pasta but goes particularly well with the pillowy bite of potato gnocchi.


It’s perfect for a camp meal as well as it comes together in one pot and you really only need 5 ingredients (if you don’t count salt and pepper).




One Pan Sicilian Gnocchi with Sardines Recipe
serves 2

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 can sardines packed in olive oil (3.75 ounces)
  • 8 ounces mini potato gnocchi*
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest, to garnish

Heat up a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, and sardines, along with oil packed in the can to the pan and cook, stirring, until hot and fragrant. Add in the gnocchi and 1/4 cup of water and simmer, stirring often until the water evaporates. Continue to brown the gnocchi, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and squeeze in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Finish with lemon zest and enjoy.

Note: If your gnocchi is on the larger side, you may need a touch more water and a longer simmer/browning session. Taste as you go.

Optional: We love this with a sunny side up egg too – the runnier the better!


  1. Cathy says:

    This sounds so good and the kind of dish my husband would love! Is there a packaged gnocchi that you recommend? I’ve never found one I like … Thank you!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      i’m not a big buyer or packaged gnocchi, but these mini ones i got from world market were pretty good. i think it’s cause they were mini – sometimes i find packaged gnocchi too doughy/floury. hope that helps a bit!

  2. Yes!!! This sounds and looks amazing. I’m totally loving these outdoor photos too, they are fabulous!

  3. Rachel says:

    Love this! I am a big fan of sardines and I always get the side-eye from people when I eat them. So happy to see you using them too!

  4. Jack says:

    How do you clean your iron pan after a meal like that?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      technically you’re not supposed to use soap, but the finex (the cast iron pan i use) is so slick that when i use soap, it doesn’t de-season. typically we heat up a bit of water, or better yet, just pour in a bit of water right after we scoop everything out and then use a brush (the dishwashing brush stick thing) with a bit of soap to scrub everything while the pan is still hot. it works really well :)

  5. Mandy says:

    I’m so jealous of all the camping and nature and… SARDINES!!! Now you’re just mean…

  6. Allyson says:

    Your camp cooking is way more ambitious than mine is. This looks fantastic- camping or not.

  7. Ron says:

    Oh wow! My mom would love this and I will definitely make this for her. She loves sardines and this recipe is perfect. I will try to make it with a sunny side up egg. Looks delicious!


  8. MachiatoMan says:

    The sardines is good ! its a Golteb . very very good golteb!

  9. cynthia says:

    Sardine and garlic sauce?! I’ve never tried anything like it and I’m so fascinated, Steph! This sounds so perfect and savory and comforting for a camping dinner. I can’t wait to try (even if I’m just camping in my living room).

  10. Erika says:

    Girlllllll I LOVE sardines and gnocchi and this sounds like heaven. Where in the world do you get such adorable mini gnocchi!!! Heart eyes forever! And these pictures are gorgeous! Thanks to Mike for insisting on them and bringing this yum pasta into the virtual world for our inspiration!!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      they’re the mini gnocchi from world market! i wasn’t gonna try them but they were so cute i couldn’t resist!

  11. Yum yum yum! Mike and Rich have a lot in common, waiting patiently for their wives to PHOTOGRAPH THEIR DAMN FOOD. Hehe. Love these pics, Steph! XO

  12. Jackie C says:

    Hi Stephanie, that seems like an amazing campsite! Which site number did you choose to be in the olive groves?


    1. Stephanie Le says:

      hi jackie! you can basically camp where ever you like at soul food farms – the owner is really nice! we chose a spot in the olive grove near a picnic table. there aren’t really any defined spots, it’s very casual :)

  13. Braxton says:

    This looks absolutely delicious, and simple as well. Good stuff.

  14. Joseph Dougherty says:

    I came across this recipe 2 weeks ago while surfing your site. I cooked it last saturday night, followed the recipe exactly and it was GREAT. It is strong tasting with the sardines and garlic – which i liked ALOT. great recipe – thanks for posting it!

  15. Ged says:

    Just tried this, it was delicious. Added some cherry toms to the pan too.

  16. Jamie Lloyd says:

    5 stars
    Hi Stephanie! Thank you for this recipe – it was divine! I wouldn’t have thought to put sardines and gnocchi together, but happened to have Trader Joe’s version of both! I pan-fried the (cauliflower) gnocchi on parchment paper until it was crispy, the took it out of the pan and plopped in the garlic, red pepper, sardine oil and sardines, with some fresh spinach and romano cheese to round it out. Pantry challenge crushed! ?

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