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I used to watch my grandmother and mother make these little morsels of goodness. I love the smell of the onions and tomatoes stir frying with a little garlic while preparing the sardines and the stuffing.

If you have any other vegetables like carrot or celery stir fry together with the onions, garlic and then a jar of home made tomato sauce.

Or if you have a jar of sofrito sauce just use one of those and the sardines cooked in that will have the delicious flavour of peppers too.

By the time the sauce is ready, the sardines have been cleaned, cut and stuffed.

Sardines cleaning

Try to cut straight down one side to get the sardines cleaned and open up like a butterfly.

Sardines raw

Prepare a simple stuffing:

Chopped parsley or basil
Crushed garlic or chopped chives
A little hot chilli (optional)
Thinly sliced/chopped chorizo or salami (optional)
A scoop full of the sauce to help the stuffing combine and stick together.

Sardines stuff stuff

Prepare a spoon full of the mixture ready to roll the fish around.

Join together and pass a toothpick through the two ends.

Sardines stuffed

Place them all into the pan at once and cover with the lid to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Sardines stuffed cooked

If you have any left over stuffing add an egg to combine and make small balls which can be baked along side of the fish.

Any green vegetables go well with these sardines, mashed potato or home made roast potatoes, too.