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I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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TASTE : Food & Drink

Sarde al Forno

Baked Sardines

Fresh Sardines

Yesterday we spent another beautiful and entertaining morning at the Central Market.  Entertaining because we witnessed some rude tourists being told to ‘vaffanculo’ by the store holder after they had requested to buy some cheese.  The store owner cut the cheese they had selected so that the tourists could taste it and then the women obviously changed their minds and just walked off without even saying they didn’t want the cheese anymore.   They couldn’t even manage a courteous Thank you!  So we were quite amused when the owner yelled after them, “Excuse Me, Thank you and vaffanculo to you and your friends!” (In those exact words!)

Now to get back to my post, we also bought some beautiful fish.  Today I made fish cakes and baked sardines.  As the latter is a recipe I learned here in Italy, I am going to share it with you.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Sarde Fresche

You will need to fillet your sardines which is quite time consuming as the recipe calls for about one kilo.  If you are fortunate like me and have a handy kitchen assistant willing to help, then you can delegate this job to them!

My handy Assistant

You can always buy sardines already filleted but you will pay quite a bit more for the privilege.  You will also need plain flour, white vinegar and a large onion, sliced thinly.

Once the sardines have been cleaned, cover them lightly in flour and fry them in olive oil.

Fried Sardines

Once fried, layer the sardines in an oven proof dish, then cover them with a layer of sliced onions.  Repeat these layers until you have used all the sardines. (It is more effective if you have at least four layers of sardines so use a smaller dish if you feel you don’t have enough fish).

Sardines layered with Onions

Pour the vinegar over the top of the sardines till it comes about half way up the dish.  Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven until you see the onions have softened and browned.

Serve with some crusty bread and a salad.  This is one of those dishes that is even better the next day and you can even eat the left overs cold.

Sarde al Forno

Buon Appetito!!

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Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

Learn more

I always love discovering new fashion brands and so you can imagine my delight when I was recently introduced to a beautiful new Florentine brand called @pavonefirenze.

Founded in 2019 by Creative Directors Angela Testani and Massimo Brilli, PAVóNE FIRENZE is a women’s shoe and accessory collection, designed and created in Florence.