Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Frankie’s Sardines in Tomato Sauce

Hello, and welcome again to Nicole Parton’s Favorite Recipes! Click the following YouTube audio link to hear the music as you read the sad story of a good fish gone bad and a washed-up advice columnist driven to the point of madness. Today’s blog is the continuation of my last post. 

If your mobile device won’t let you hear this clip, go to:

*   *   *

Time hadn’t been kind to Sadie. After weeks of drinking Jell-O shots, she went off the deep end. She didn’t know how to swim, so Frankie always rescued her.

Sadly, Sadie began mailing letters to herself at her vacant desk at The Bugle. Even worse, she sent herself answers: “Wake up and smell the coffee, Toots!” or “Are you better off with him, or without him?” or “Why buy the cow when the milk is free? Mazel tov!” 

It was Frankie who finally persuaded her to enter rehab. There, she learned there were plenty of other fish in the sea (male nurses, in particular), and promptly forgot about Frankie. With time on his fins, Frankie began to watch old movies: “The Life of Lucky Luciano,” “Married to the Mob,” “The Godfather,” “A Fish Called Wanda …

Bitterness claimed his heart. Reinventing himself as the Godfish, Frankie reconnected with his estranged Family in Sardinia. 

Their problems with a rival Family from Sicily meant Frankie had to be tough. Swimming up to them, he said:

“If you Wythe Guyth meth wif my Famiwy, you’ll thwim wif da fitheth!” 

And that scared the rival Family so much that they threw away their violin cases and tommy guns and baseball bats and stopped watching Robert de Niro movies and Frankie became a hero and everyone ate Sardines in Tomato Sauce unrelated to Frankie’s Sardinian Family and no one had to wear cement overcoats and they all lived happily ever after. Whew! 

And Sadie? Not much changed for Sadie, except that - out of respect for Frankie, her one true love - she never ate fish again. She still mailed herself advice, but wouldn’t read it. She still downed Jell-O shots, but now in smoky bars. And she was still lactose-intolerant, but no longer cared. 

Frankie’s Sardines in Tomato Sauce:

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, finely diced
6 green onions, finely chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely diced 
½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
One 14-oz. (398 mL) can tomato sauce
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 small, firm tomato, diced
Two 1-½ oz. (106 g) cans sardines in oil, undrained
2 tsp. finely minced fresh parsley

Add oil to skillet over high heat, swirling so oil does not burn. Add garlic, onions, and peppers, stirring constantly 3 or 4 min. until onions are soft and tender. Add tomato sauce and seasonings, simmering over low heat for 5 min. so allow flavors can blend. Stir in chopped tomato. Add sardines, heating through and gently spooning with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving over rice or toast. Serves 2.

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