2 tablespoons olive oil; salt; 1/2 onion, sliced; 1 bunch parsley, leaves picked & roughly chopped; 1 clove garlic, sliced; 1 can good olive-oil-packed sardines; 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs; 1 pound spaghetti; optional: dried chile flakes.
Heat the o.o. in a deep pan big enough to hold the pasta once it's cooked. Once the oil is warm, add the onion and garlic and cook until it's soft...5 to 10 min. Add the sardines and their o.o. and let them fry in the pan, breaking them up with your spoon. Turn the heat off once the sardines have broken down. Cook the pasta in well-salted water. While the pasta is cooking, chop the parsley. Remove a glass of pasta water from the pot just before you remove the pasta. When the pasta is almost done, turn the heat on under the pan of sardines. Remove the pasta with tongs and drop it directly into the pan. Add 1/4 cup of pasta water and mix the sardines & onions through the pasta. Add more water by the splash if it all seems dry and rigid. When the noodles & sauce seem well combined, add half the breadcrumbs and parsley and mix them through. Serve the pasta in a big bowl, topped with the remaining breadcrumbs and parsley. A few shakes of dried chile are good here, too.Bon appetit!