- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 50g pitted black olives
- small handful fresh origanum or parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 8 sardines, head and central bone removed if you prefer
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 220°C. Heat half the oil in a deep frying pan and fry onion for 10 minutes until softened. Add garlic, fry for 1 minute, then stir in tomatoes and olives.
- Bring mixture to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until thick and pulpy. Stir in most of the origanum or parsley and season to taste.
- Tip sauce into an ovenproof dish. Arrange sardines in a layer on top. Tuck in lemon wedges, drizzle with remaining oil and season.
- Cook in oven for 12 to 15 minutes until sardines are cooked through – flesh should be opaque. Scatter over the remaining herbs. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
- TIP If you buy pre-packed sardines, use a knife to score deeper into the cut side to remove the bones. Lay opened-out fish on a board, skin-side up, and run the heel of your hand along the backbone to help loosen bones. Turn fish over and lift out the backbone with the side bones attached. Fold fish back together and use in recipe.