Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali
40 min
20 min
6 servings


  • 2 cans good-quality oil-packed sardines, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch parsley leaves, finely chopped plus extra, for garnish
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped pepperonchini
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated caciocavallo cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to fill a deep pot no more than halfway
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon halves


In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the canned sardines, eggs, garlic, parsley, pepperonchini, bread crumbs and cheese. Using a wooden spoon stir lightly, not to mash mixture. Set fish mixture aside.

Fill a deep pot no more than halfway full with the olive oil. Heat over a medium flame until the temperature reaches 350 degrees F. The oil should remain at or around this temperature throughout the frying process. Using a spoon, make fritters into semi-balls. When the oil reaches temperature, gently drop the fish balls into the hot oil. Be careful not to splatter the oil. Fry each fritter to a golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully remove the cooked fritters with a slotted spoon and reserve on a serving dish. Repeat until all of the fish mixture has been used. These fritters are best served hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


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