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This Sicilian-inspired pasta is packed with anti-aging ingredients, according to Eat to Beat Disease author Dr. William Li. It's one of his all-time favorites and features canned sardines. Research has shown that people who eat more oily fish, such as sardines, live longer, Dr. Will tells us—hence the name Longevity Pasta. But the dish is not only good for you—it tastes great, too! 

Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

$30 $24

For more healthy recipes from Dr. Li, check out his Crostini with Sundried Tomato Tapenade and Chicken Basil Stir-Fry.


  • Four 1-inch-thick slices Italian bread
  • 1 tin boneless, skinless sardine filets packed in olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (Dr. Li recommends organic since we're using the skin)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ lemon, for juice
  • 6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley


Serves: 2


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 

Meanwhile, place the bread in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until uniform coarse breadcrumbs result, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Pour the olive oil from the tin of sardines into a large pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the breadcrumbs and stir continuously until golden brown and crunchy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat to prevent burning, transfer the toasted breadcrumbs to a plate and set aside. Clean the pan.

Heat the EVOO in the same pan over medium-high heat, add the onions and sauté until just caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the sardines, breaking them into pieces with a fork, and mix evenly with the onions. Stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon. Mix the sauce gently and turn off the heat.

Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until just al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Add the spaghetti to the sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper and mix until evenly combined. Turn the heat to medium, add the pasta water and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.

Sprinkle the pasta with the toasted breadcrumbs, reserving some for serving, then mix again. Serve immediately, topping each portion with another pinch of breadcrumbs. Garnish with a lemon wedge and sprig of parsley.