Pollastrini di Anzio Sardines in Tomato Sauce with Hot Pepper 4/6


Just like their Sardines with Tomato Sauce, but with the addition of hot pepper. Giving Nuri Sardines in Spiced Tomato Sauce  a run for the money. You may also know these as Pollastrini al Pomodoro Piccante.

100g (3.5 oz) tin

Pictured on saffron rice with cilantro.

In stock

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Ingredients: sardines (Sardina pilchardus), tomato sauce, olive oil, celery, hot pepper, natural flavors, spices and salt.

See what Matthew Carlson has to say about these hot tomato ‘dines.


  1. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    3.75 stars, rounded up because they tried harder than most with the sauce. Above average tin for the difficult tomato’d sardines category. Flavor of the sauce was pretty good with some complexity, but the consistency was thinner than I’d have liked and it was hard to get it to stick to the sardines. I was hoping for a medium spice level but this was a half step below that for me, somewhere between mild and medium. The fish itself was solid quality, perhaps a touch dry but a good balance between firm/soft.

    Fair to say that these Pollastrini are a step *above* Santo Amaro, Bon Appetit, and all the other non-Nuri sardines in tomato sauce. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend eating them plain out of the tin like I did, but if you put these over some noodles then you’d probably be fairly pleased with yourself.

    All in all, they’re good but not great. You’d 100% be able to tell the difference between these and Nuri in a blind taste test. If these were in the $5 range then they *could* be a value buy for me, but when they cost $0.50 more than those glorious Nuri in spiced sauce? Nope, sorry Pollastrini, the tomato sauce gold medal isn’t around your neck.

  2. Jeff (verified owner)

    When I first saw sardines in tomato sauce I thought 1. that sounds weird and 2. I don’t think I’d like that. I was wrong. I’ve tried a few different tins of sardines in tomato sauce, including the well known Nuri’s in spiced tomato sauce, and they’ve all been pretty darn good.
    There’s probably a lot of great ways to enjoy these ‘dines – most likely involve pasta. I’m pretty simple and eat a lot of my sardines straight from the tin, or on top of some rice with a side of kimchi and/or some other fermented or pickled veggies. The voice in my head was telling me to lightly toast a thick slice of sourdough bread and to warm the tin up a bit. So good.
    The sauce is great – a nice blend of sweetness, umami, and spice. Is it the spiciest, no? Is it well balanced? I think so. The ‘dines are the co-star here. They’re good though maybe a bit on the firm/dry/flaky side. Warmed up on top of some sourdough toast with the sauce thrown around the texture blends in and it’s easy to get a “perfect bite” When the fish is done and there’s still sauce in the tin, mopping it up with the sourdough feels like a guilty pleasure.

  3. NoseWalrus (verified owner)

    These were my first foray into sardines in tomato sauce and I was not disappointed. As others have said, the spice level isn’t high. It is enough to add some heat as you’re eating but not enough to be considered ‘hot’. The sauce was flavorful and balanced. I would say that most of the flavor comes from the delicious sauce.

    There is some room in the can to allow for greater sauce penetration into the sardines, which seemed to work well. Also, the greater ratio of sauce/sardine makes this tin really appealing to use as a pasta sauce.

    I ate these cold with some sliced, toasted sourdough and soaked up every drop of sauce I could. It was wonderful. Next time I will be warming these up and tossing them with some pasta.

  4. nrobinson (verified owner)

    Very stiff sardines, almost dry but not quite. Texture a bit like thick plump juicy beef jerky. Flavor is delicious… deep and rich, slightly sweet, almost smoky. Spice level is medium high. I love it. Can’t wait to eat some over home made pasta.

  5. An Nguyen (verified owner)

    I grew up eating sardines in tomato sauce (usually Flower or 999 brand) and so was excited/curious to try this tin but it turned out to be a bit of a let down. The texture of the fish was fine, but the sauce had almost no spice and I felt like it needed a lot of seasoning. Warming up the tin did improve the flavor of the sauce a little but it still pales in comparison to other ones I’ve had in this category. FWIW, I waited until I’ve tried another sardine in tomato sauce before posting this review just in case my taste has changed and this tin is definitely not as flavorful as some of the ones you can find out there.

  6. marshallprather (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed these. There were 5 small-medium sardines in a very mild tomato sauce. They had a great firmness and while the spice was barely present — I found the tomato sauce especially rich. I ate most of these straight out of the tin and dipped some leftover bread into the sauce. I would enjoy more spice and likely would select the Nuri extra spiced but nonetheless these were quality.

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