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Portuguese Recipe: Pâte de Sardinha (Sardine Pate)

Cooking 10min Preparation 10min 1/2 cup easy
Recipe type: Pate Cuisine: Portuguese

If you were to wander through the cobblestone streets of Porto in search of something to fill your grumbling belly, this would be the perfect city to get lost in. Known for its love of food, from wholly nutritious to downright gluttonous, Porto has been quietly working to maintain the authenticity of its food culture while continuing to evolve.

This dedication to the basics can first be seen in the use of something that is essential to Portugal as the humble sardine. Porto takes the love of this little fish to the next level by turning the usually under appreciated yet healthy and sustainable little fish, into a star that goes beyond grilled street food. Here, the tinned variety gets some much needed love by simply changing the form in which it’s presented. By blending the sardines whole into a smooth paste, it becomes an elegant pâté de sardinha to spread over bread or crackers. Essentially this makes for a deliciously robust fish spread that pairs beautifully with a white Alvarinho or Arinto wine from the north of Portugal! Scrumptious!

The gifted cooks of Porto have obviously figured out how to give a twist to the basics to either slightly elevate or drastically change Portuguese ingredients in a delicious way. This doesn’t mean it has to be difficult, in fact it’s easy enough to do in your own home with just a little help from your friends here at Catavino to guide your way!

If, however, you’re keen to visit the old school canneries run by gifted grandmothers, or simply ache for a private boat tour along the Douro, let us know! There’s a thousand and one ways to satiate your fish cravings in Porto with a customized trip just for you! 


  • 1 tin of sardines, packed in oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (57g) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Pinch of salt
  • White pepper to taste


  1. Empty the sardines and oil it came with into a bowl or food processor. Pour in the lemon juice, butter and parsley. Blend with a fork if using a bowl or pulse with a food processor until smooth.
  2. Season the pâté with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and transfer it to a dish, cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
  3. Serve on crackers, with bread or get creative and use it instead of liver pâté in a recipe!


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