A sample recipe....
Sarda ita fit (Stuffed Sardines)
Sarda ita fit (from Apicius' De Re Coquinaria)
Sarda ita fit: coquitur sarda et exossatur. teritur pipere, ligustico, thymo, origano, ruta, caryota, melle. et in vasculo ovis incisis ornatur impensa. vinum modice, acetum, defritum et oleum viridem.
Cook and bone the sardines; fill with crushed pepper, lovage, thyme, origany, rue, moistened with date wine, honey; place on a dish, garnish with cut hard eggs. Pour over a little wine, vinegar, reduced must, and virgin oil.
500g cooked and boned sardines
½ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp lovage
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp rue
150g stoned dates
1 tbsp honey
4 hard-boiled eggs
50ml white wine
50 ml Defritum
3 tbsp green olive oil (cold-pressed)
sprig of watercress to garnish
Sprinkle the surfaces of the sardines with freshly-ground pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until thoroughly cooked. Once cooked, allow to cool and remove the backbone by taking hold of the tail and pulling it out through the body cavity. Finely chop the herbs and dates, transfer to a bowl and add all the liquid ingredients. Mix together well and use this to stuff the body cavities of the sardines. Arrange the stuffed sardines on a plate, quarter the boiled eggs and place around the sardines. Finally garnish with some watercress and serve.
ps Defritum: The closest equivalent would be thick fig syrup. However, must sweetened with honey and boiled down to a third of its original volume can also be used