Pasta with Sardines



  • 8 ounces dry, whole grain pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 (3.75 ounce) can sardines in tomato sauce
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. One important tip to remember: Crush the garlic and leave it at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes before you cook it. Several studies show that this little step helps to maximize the cancer-fighting enzymes of garlic.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook as instructed on the box (usually about 8 minutes).
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for a few minutes until soft. Then add the garlic, and cook until fragrant. Stir in the sardines with their sauce. When the sardines heat through, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the pasta is ready.
  4. When the pasta is almost done, drain, and add it to the sardine sauce. Stir, cover, and turn the heat off. Let stand for a few minutes to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
  5. Squeeze juice from the lemon over the pasta. Divide onto serving plates, and top with red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese, as desired.


4 servings

Adapted from: 

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  • Nutrition Tip

    This delicious pasta is packed with nutrients that will help you prevent or fight cancer as well as many other chronic diseases. Sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

    A growing number of studies are showing the potential health benefits of garlic. Several components of garlic have been shown to slow the development of cancer in several stages at various sites, including stomach, breast, esophagus, colon, bladder, and lung.

    Two large studies in China and Italy have suggested an association between garlic consumption in humans and lower death rates from stomach cancer. The Iowa Women's Health Study found that women who ate garlic consistently had a lower risk for developing colon cancer.

    Laboratory research has shown that a component of garlic called diallyl disulfide was able to kill leukemia cells. A study published in 2006 found that a diet containing 10 grams (three cloves) of garlic per day was associated with a 30 percent risk reduction for a type of stomach cancer.

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