Mary Grace cafe is my favorite restaurant in Manila. During our last visit to the Philippines, we ate there several times. I just love their pastas, specially their sardine pasta.


I have tried to recreate their sardine pasta a couple of times without much success. The pasta becomes too fishy even after adding capers, olives and other spices I can think of. Until I had a sort of epiphany – omitting onions in the recipe. I find that sautéing garlic, onions and tomatoes to make the sauce makes it taste like “Guinisang Sardinas” and this is not the flavor I am aiming for.

To make this dish, you will need a bottle of Spanish sardines in olive oil. I used the Philippine brand San Sebastian which I got at our local Asian grocer.


Start by cooking your pasta. Take out 1/2 of the dried fettuccine from a 1 lb box and cook according to package directions.


While your pasta is cooking, heat a pan and add about 4 Tbsp. olive oil. Add two roma tomatoes that has been diced and seeded and 2 cloves of finely minced garlic. Cook until the tomatoes have released a bit of it juices but has not turned mushy. Add 5-6 pieces of baby portabella mushrooms that has been sliced and a small can of black olives. Continue cooking until just heated through. Add half of the contents of the bottled sardines and break it into big chunks while stirring. Then add your cooked pasta from the water to the pan using tongs. Gently toss until pasta is coated with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Place in big bowls and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Serve with a side of garlic bread. This recipe serves two.

Note: you can substitute a can of sliced button mushrooms for the baby portabella


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