I just read the rather amazing post on the General Topics board about sardines. I thought I would post a recipe in the spirit. I found this in Damiano Martin's Da Fiore cookbook.
I always thought this Venetian dish was made with anchoivies. Not having sardines in salt, I used canned, and also added a large amount of anchoivies: good result I thought. Perhaps others will disagree or have other ideas. I post this for I like it best of other bigoli in salsa recipes that I have seen. I did not make my own pasta, but used an organic whole grain spelt pasta, which was delicious with this.
Bigoli in Salsa
3/4 pound sardines, salt-packed
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 cups whole wheat flour plus more for dusting
3 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Rub the salt from the sardines. Soak for an hour in 1/2 cup of the wine and water to cover by 3 inches. Remove the heads. In the same liquid, rinse the sardines and remove scales and bones, separating the two fillets. Chop the pieces and set aside.
To prepare the salsa, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sardines and cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining wine, letting it evaporate slightly, about a minute. Pour enough water into the pan to cover the onions, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and cover. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onions are almost dissolved and you have a chunky sauce, about 45 minutes. [much less time with canned sardines I think]
Prepare the pasta [see any recipe for making homemade pasta. Bigoli are shaped and cut like spaghetti in the end].
Fill a large pot with water and boil. Salt it. Cook the bigoli al dente. Heat the sauce, and drain the pasta and then add it to the sauce with the parsley, tossing to coat.
Suggestion [from Da Fiori]: There is a custom of drinking a glass of water before eating bigoli in salsa to help with the digestion of the onions. [??]
Let me know if you have other ideas on Bigoli, or on cooking it with sardines.