Rick Stein’s sardines in tortillas with spicy tomato sauce recipe
4 as a starter
Sardines, in fact most salty foods, are fantastic with Vermentino. Pour a glass of the 2017 Box Grove from Victoria’s Goulburn Valley with its ripe nose of pear and anise and fine, mouth-watering texture and umami-like persistence – it’s the ideal drop with this delicious dish
- 250g sardines in oil, drained
- 250ml corn oil, for frying
- 12 x 10cm Corn tortillas
- 200g Refried beans, warmed
- 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
For the tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp dried epazote (optional) or oregano
- ½ –1 habanero chilli, stem and seeds removed, roughly chopped
- 600ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 12 turns black peppermill
- Salt, to taste
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and sweat onion, garlic, epazote or oregano and chilli until very soft. Add the passata and cook for 15–20 minutes. Liquidise the sauce in a blender or food processor and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Reserve one-third of the tomato sauce for finishing the dish, then put the rest back in the pan and add the sardines.
- Cook for about 15 minutes until the fish has broken up and combined with the tomato sauce – the sauce should be quite thick and most of the liquid evaporated.
- Heat the corn oil in a frying pan and fry the tortillas for 1–2 minutes until crisp. Drain them on kitchen paper.
- Spread 8 of the tortillas with refried beans. Place one on each of 4 plates and spoon on some of the sardine ‘stew’. Top with a second bean-covered tortilla, bean-side up, then add a bit more of the sardine stew. Finish with a third tortilla, then divide the reserved tomato sauce between the tortilla stacks and garnish with a few slices of avocado. Serve at once.