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Sardella calabrese

Sardella calabrese (also called Calabrian sardella , Calabrian caviar, caviar of the poor, rosamarina, or nudicella) is a spicy paste made with sardines. The place of origin is Calabria, Italy, and Sardella calabrese is a typical Calabrian product of the province of Crotone, of the Upper Ionian Cosentino and the Lower Ionian Cosentino, based on whitebait sauce very small and / or medium size and sweet or hot red pepper ground into powder. Other ingredients are salt and flavorings (wild fennel seeds).
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian


  • Pan
  • Pot
  • Knife


  • 2 tins Sardines
  • 1 tin Anchovies
  • 250 g Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Rosted Red Pepper
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Spicy Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel
  • 1 pinch Sugar
  • 1 leaf Laurel
  • 1 Calabrian salt and pepper
  • 2 Cayenne petter


  • Chop the garlic cloves and sauté them in virgin olive oil in a pan over a low heat.
  • When the garlic begins to take on color, add the peppers and season with salt and pepper (be careful with the salt, as anchovies will be added later). Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Add the pasta (natural chopped tomato, and allowed to simmer), a pinch of sugar to remove the tomato’s acidity and a bay leaf.
  • After another 5 minutes, add the sardines and anchovies, breaking them up with the help of a spatula, so that they are distributed equally.
  • Mix in the spices and powdered cayenne by hand.  Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaf.
  • Make a paste by stirring everything, adding virgin olive oil. The amount of oil will depend a bit on our taste and what the sardella is for: for an appetizer or dip, 4 tablespoons of oil will suffice.
Keyword Calabrian caviar, Calabrian sardella, caviar of the poor, nudicella, rosamarina, Sardella calabrese